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MiLiTABT Situation: 




Spbing of 1917. 
Obganization Pbojegts. 

American Front and Line of Communications. 
General Staff. 
Summer of 1917 to Spring of 1918. 




General Headquabters American Expeditionary Forces, 

September i, 1919, 
To the Secretary or War, 

Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith my final report as 
Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces in 


1. I assumed the duties of this office on May 26, 1917, and, accom- 
panied by a small staff, departed for Europe on board the S. S. 
Baltic May 28. We arrived at London on June 9 and, after spending 
some days in consultation with the British authorities, reached Paris 
on June 13. 

2. Following the rather earnest appeals of the Allies for American 
troops, it was decided to send to France, at once, 1 complete division 
and 9 newly organized regiments of Engineers. The division was 
formed of regular regiments, necessary transfers of officers and men 
were made, and recruits were assigned to increase these units to the 
required strength. 

The offer by the Navy Department of one regiment of Marines to 
be reorganized as Infantry was accepted by the Secretary of War, 
and it became temporarily a part of the First Division. 

Prior to our entrance into the war, the regiments of our small 
army were very much scattered, and we had no organized units, even 
approximating a division, that could be sent overseas prepared to 
take the field. To meet the new conditions of warfare an entirely 
new organization was adopted in which our Infantry divisions were 
to consist of 4 regiments of Infantry of about treble their original 
size, 3 regiments of Artillery, 14 machine-gun companies, 1 Engineer 
regiment, 1 Signal battalion, 1 troop of Cavalry, and other auxiliary 
units, making a total strength of about 28,000 men. 





3. In order that the reasons for many important decisions reached 
in the early history of the American Expeditionary Forces may be 
more clearly understood and the true value of the American effort 
more fully appreciated, it is desirable to have in mind the main 
events leading up to the time of our entry into the war. 


4. Although the German drive of 1914 had failed in its imme- 
diate purpose, yet her armies had made very important gains. 
German forces were in complete possession of Belgium and occupied 
rich industrial regions of northern France, embracing one-fourteenth 
of her population and about three-fourths of her coal and iron. The 
German armies held a strongly fortified line 468 miles in length, 
stretching from the Swiss border to Nieuport on the English Chan- 
nel ; her troops were within 48 miles of Paris and the initiative re- 
mained in German hands. 

In the east the rapidity of the Russian mobilization forced Ger- 
many, even before the Battle of the Marne, to send troops to that 
frontier, but the close of 1914 found the Russian armies ejected from 
East Prussia and driven back on Warsaw. 

The entry of Turkey into the war, because of the moral effect upon 
the Moslem world and the immediate constant threat created against 
Allied communications with the Far East, led to an effort by the Allies 
in the direction of the Dardanelles. 


5. Italy joined the Allies in May and gave their cause new 
strength, but the effect was more or less offset when Bulgaria en- 
tered on the side of the Central Powers. 

The threatening situation on the Russian front and in the Balkans 
was still such that Germany was compelled to exert an immedi- 
ate offensive effort in those directions and to maintain only a de- 
fensive attitude on the western front. German arms achieved a 
striking series of successes in the vicinity of the Mazurian Lakes 
and in Galicia, capturing Warsaw, Brest-Litovsk, and Vilna. The 
Central Powers overran Serbia and Montenegro. Meanwhile, the 
Italian armies forced Austria to use approximately one-half of her 
strength against them. 

In the west, the French and British launched offensives which 
cost the German armies considerable loss; but the objectives were 
limited and the effect was local. 

The Dardanelles expedition, having failed in its mission, was with- 
drawn in January, 1916. In Mesopotamia the Allied operations had 


not been successful. Although the British fleet had established its 
superiority on the sea, yet the German submarine blockade had 
developed into a serious menace to Allied shipping. 


6. Germany no doubt believed that her advantage on the eastern 
front at the close of 1915 again warranted an offensive in the west, 
and her attack against Verdun was accordingly launched in the 
spring of 1916. But Russia was not yet beaten and early in June, 
aided at the same time by the threat of an Italian offensive in the 
west, she began the great drive in Galicia that proved so disastrous 
to Austria. 

Roumania, having entered on the side of the Allies, undertook 
a promising offensive against Austria. The British and French 
Armies attacked along the Somme. Germany quickly returned to 
the defensive in the west, and in September initiated a campaign 
in the east which, before the close of 1916, proved unfortunate 

for Russia as well as Roumania. 


SPRING OF 1917. 

7. Retaining on the eastern front the forces considered sufficient 
for the final conquest of Russia, Germany prepared to aid Austria 
in an offensive against Italy. Meanwhile, the Russian revolution 
was well under way and, by the midsummer of 1917, the final col- 
lapse of that government was almost certain. 

The relatively low strength of the German forces on the western 
front led the Allies with much confidence to attempt a decision on 
this front; but the losses were very heavy and the effort signally 
failed. The failure caused a serious reaction especially on French 
morale, both in the army and throughout the country, and attempts 
to carry out extensive or combined operations were indefinitely 

In the five months ending June 30, German submarines had ac- 
complished the destruction of more than three and one-quarter mil- 
lion tons of Allied shipping. During three years Germany had 
seen practically all her offensives except Verdun crowned with suc- 
cess. Her battle lines were held on foreign soil and she had with- 
stood every Allied attack since the Mame. The German general 
staff could now foresee the complete elimination of Russia, the pos- 
sibility of defeating Italy before the end of the year and, finally, 
the campaign of 1918 against the French and British on the western 
front which might terminate the war. 

It can not be said that German hopes of final victory were ex- 
travagant, either as viewed at that time or as viewed in the light of 


histx)ry. Financial problems of the Allies were difficult, supplies 
were becoming exhausted and their armies had suffered tremendous 
losses. Discouragement existed not only among the civil popula- 
tion but throughout the armies as well. Such was the Allied moralo 
that, although their superiority on the western front during the 
last half of 1916 and during 1917 amounted to 20 per cent, only local 
attacks could be undertaken and their effect proved wholly insuffi- 
cient against the German defense. Allied resources in man power 
at home were low and there was little prospect of materially in- 
creasing their armed strength, even in the face of the probability 
of having practically the whole military strength of the Central 
Powers against them in the spring of 1918. 

8. This was the state of affairs that existed when we entered the 
war. While our action gave the Allies much encouragement yet this 
was temporary, and a review of conditions made it apparent that 
America must make a supreme material effort as soon as possible. 
After duly considering the tonnage possibilities I cabled the follow- 
ing to Washington on July 6, 1917 : 

Plans should contemplate sending over at least 1,000,000 menrby next May. 


9. A general organization project, covering as far as possible the 
personnel of all combat, staff, and administrative units, was for- 
warded to Washington on July 11. This was prepared by the Opera- 
tions Section of my staff and adopted in joint conference with the 
War Department Committee then in France. It embodied my con- 
clusions on the military organization and effort required of America 
after a careful study of French and British experience. In for- 
warding this project I stated: 

It is evident that a force of about 1,000,000 is the smallest unit which in 
modern war will be a complete, well-balanced, and independent fighting organ- 
ization. However, it must be equally clear that the adoption of this size 
force as a basis of study should not be construed as representing the maximum 
force which should be sent to or which will be needed in France. It is taken 
as the force which may be expected to reach France in time for an offensive 
in 1918, and as a unit and basis of organization. Plans for the future should 
be based, especially in reference to the manufacture of artillery, aviation, and 
other material, on three times this force — i. e., at least 3,000,000 men. 

The original project for organized combat units and its state of 
completion on November 11, 1918, are shown in the charts appended 
to this report.^ With a few minor changes, this project remained 
our guide until the end. 

10. While this general organization project provided certain 
Services of Supply troops, which were an integral part of the 

^ See pis. 9 to 15. 


larger combat units, it did not include the great body of troops and 
services required to maintain an army overseas. To disembark 
2,000,000 men, move them to their training areas, shelter them, 
handle and store the quantities of supplies and equipment they re- 
quired called for an extraordinary and immediate effort in con- 
struction. To provide the organization for this purpose, a project 
for engineer services of the rear, including railways, was cabled to 
Washington August 5, 1917, followed on September 18, 1917, by 
a complete service of the rear project, which listed item by item the 
troops considered necessary for the Services of Supply. Particular 
attention is invited to the charts herewith, which show the extent to 
which this project had developed by November 11, 1918, and the 
varied units required, many of which did not exist in our Army 
prior to this war. 

11. In order that the War Department might have a clear-cut 
program to follow in the shipment of personnel and material to 
insure the gradual building up of a force at all times balanced and 
symmetrical, a comprehensive statement was prepared covering the 
order in which the troops and services enumerated in these two 
projects should arrive. This schedule of priority of shipments, for- 
warded to the War Department on October 7, divided the initial 
force called for by the two projects into six phases corresponding to 
combatant corps of six divisions each. 

The importance of the three documents, the general organization 
project, the service of the rear project, and the schedule of priority 
of shipments should be emphasized, because they formed the basic 
plan for providing an army in France together with its material 
for combat, construction, and supply. 


12. Before developing plans for a line of communications it was 
necessary to decide upon the probable sector of the front for the 
eventual employment of a distinctive American force. Our mission 
was offensive and it was essential to make plans for striking the 
enemy where a definite military decision could be gained. While 
the Allied Armies had endeavored to maintain the offensive, the 
British, in order to guard the Channel ports, were conmiitted to 
operations in Flanders and the French to the portion of the front 
protecting Paris. Both lacked troops to operate elsewhere on a 
large scale. 

To the east the great fortified district east of Verdun and around 
Metz menaced central France, protected the most exposed portion 
of the German line of communications, that between Metz and 
Sedan, and covered the Briey iron region, from which the enemy 


obtained the greater part of the iron required for munitions ancl 
material. The coal fields east of Metz were also covered by thesei 
same defenses. A deep advance east of Metz, or the capture of the 
Briey region, by threatening the invasion of rich German territory 
in the Moselle Valley and the Saar Basin, thus curtailing her supply 
of coal or iron, would have a decisive effect in forcing a withdrawal 
of German troops from northern France. The military and econ- 
nomic situation of the enemy, therefore, indicated Lorraine as the! 
field promising the most fruitful results for the employment of our 

13. The complexity of trench life had enormously increased the 
tonnage of supplies required by troops. Not only was it a question 
of providing food but enormous quantities of munitions and material 
were needed. Upon the railroads of France fell the burden of 
meeting the heavy demands of the three and one-half million Allied 
combatants then engaged. 

The British were crowding the Channel ports and the French were 
exploiting the manufacturing center of Paris, so that the railroads 
of northern France were already much overtaxed. Even though the 
Channel ports might be used to a limited extent for shipments 
through England, the railroads leading eastward would have to cross 
British and French zones of operation, thus making the introduction 
of a line of communications based on ports and railways in that re* 
gion quite impracticable. If the American Army was to have an 
independent and flexible system it could not use the lines behind the 
British-Belgium front nor those in rear of the French front covering 

The problem confronting the American Expeditionary Forces was 
then to superimpose its rail cbnununications on those of France 
where there would be the least possible disturbance to the arteries of 
supply of the two great Allied armies already in the field. This 
would require the utmost use of those lines of the existing French rail- 
road system that could bear an added burden. Double-track railroad 
lines from the ports of the Loire and the Gironde Rivers unite at 
Bourges, running thence via Nevers, Dijon, and Neufchateau, with 
lines radiating therefrom toward the right wing of the Allied front. 
It was estimated that these with the collateral lines available, after 
considerable improvement, could handle an additional 50,000 tons 
per day, required for an army of 2,000,000 men. The lines selected, 
therefore, were those leading from the comparatively unused south- 
Atlantic ports of France to the northeast where it was believed the 
American Armies could be employed to the best advantage.* 

14. In the location of our main depots of supply, while it was im- 
portant that they should be easily accessible, yet they must also be at 

> See plate 8. 


a safe distance, as we were to meet an aggressive enemy capable of 
taking the offensive in any one of several directions. The area em- 
bracing Tours, Orleans, Montargis, Nevers, and Chateauroux was 
chosen, as it was centrally located with regard to all points on the arc 
of the western front. 

The ports of St. Nazaire, La Pallice, and Bassens were designated 
for permanent use, while Nantes, Bordeaux, and Pauillac were for 
emergency use. Several smaller ports, such as St. Malo, Sables- 
d'Olonne, and Bayonne, were available chiefly for the importation of 
coal from England. From time to time, certain trans- Atlantic ships 
were sent to Le Havre and Cherbourg. In anticipation of a large 
increase in the amount of tonnage that might be required later, ar- 
rangements were made during the German offensive of 1918 to 
utilize the ports of Marseilles and Toulon as well as other smaller 
ports on the Mediterranean. 

For all practical purposes the American Expeditionary Forces were 
based on the American Continent. Three thousand miles of ocean 
to cross with the growing submarine menace confronting us, the 
quantity of ship tonnage that would be available then unknown 
and a line of communications by land 400 miles long from French 
ports to our probable front presented difficulties that seemed almost 
insurmountable as compared with those of our Allies. 

15. For purposes of local administration our line of communicar 
tions in France was subdivided into districts or sections. The ter- 
ritory corresponding to and immediately surrounding the principal 
ports were, respectively, called base sections, with an intermediate 
section embracing the region of the great storage depots and an ad- 
vance section extending to the zone of operations, within which the 
billeting and training areas for our earlier divisions were located. 

16. In providing for the storage and distribution of reserve sup- 
plies an allowance of 45 days in the base sections was planned, with 
30 days in the intermediate section and 15 days in the advance sec- 
tion. After the safety of our sea transport was practically assured, 
this was reduced to a total of 45 days, distributed proportionately. 
When the Armistice was signed all projects for construction had 
been completed and supplies were on hand to meet the needs of 
2,000,000 men, while further plans for necessary construction and for 
the supply of an additional 2,000,000 were well under way. 


17. The organization of the General Staff and supply services 
was onoiof the first matters to engage my attention. Our situation 
in this regard was wholly unlike that of our Allies. The French 
Army was at home and in close touch with its civil government and 


war department agencies. While the British were organized on an 
overseas basis, they were within easy reach of their base of supplies 
in England. Their problems of supply and replacement were simple 
as compared with ours. Their training could be carried out at home 
with the experience of the front at hand, while our troops must be 
sent as ships were provided and their training resumed in France 
where discontinued in the States. Our available tonnage was in- 
adequate to meet all the initial demands, so that priority of ma- 
terial for combat and construction, as well as for supplies that could 
not be purchased in Europe, must be established by those whose per- 
spective included all the services and who were familiar with gen- 
eral plans. For the proper direction and coordination of the de- 
tails of administration, intelligence, operations, supply, and train- 
ing, a Greneral StaflP was an indispensable part of the Army. 

The functions of the General StaflF at my headquarters were 
finally allotted to the five sections, each under an Assistant Chief 
of Staff, as follows: To the First, or Administrative Section— ocean 
tonnage, priority of overseas shipments, replacement of men and 
animals, organization and types of equipment for troops, billeting, 
prisoners of war, military police, leaves and leave areas, welfare work 
and amusements; to the Second, or Intelligence Section — ^information 
regarding the enemy, including espionage and counterespionage, 
maps, and censorship ; to the Third, or Operations Section — ^strategic 
studies and plans and employment of combat troops; to the Fourth 
Section — coordination of supply services, including Construction, 
Transportation, and Medical Departments, and control of regulat- 
ing stations for supply ; to the Fifth, or Training Section — ^tactical 
training, schools, preparation of tactical manuals, and athletics. 
This same system was applied in the lower echelons of the command 
down to include divisions, except that in corps and divisions the 
Fourth Section was merged with the First and the Fifth Section with 
the Third. 

18. As the American Expeditionary Forces grew, it was considered 
advisable that, in matters of procurement, transportation, and sup- 
ply, the chiefs of the several supply services, who had hitherto 
been under the General Staff at my headquarters, should be placed 
directly under the supervision of the commanding general, Services 
of Supply. At General Headquarters, a Deputy Chief of Staff to 
assist the Chief of Staff was provided, and the heads of the five 
General Staff sections became Assistant Chiefs of Staff. 

The General Staff at my headquarters thereafter concerned itself 
with the broader phase of control. Under my general supervision 
and pursuant to clearly determined policies, the Assistant Chiefs 
of Staff, coordinated by the Chief of Staff, issued instructions and 


gave general direction to the great combat units and to the Services 
of Supply, keeping always in close touch with the manner and 
promptness of their fulfillment. Thus a system of direct responsi- 
bility was put into operation which contemplated secrecy in prepara- 
tion, prompt decision in emergency, and coordinate action in execu- 

19. With the growth of our forces the demand for staff officers 
rapidly increased, but the available number of officers trained for 
staff duty was very limited. To meet this deficiency, a General 
Staff college was organized at Langres on November 28, 1917, for 
the instruction of such officers as could be spared. An intensive 
course of study of three months was prescribed embracing the de- 
tails of our staff organization and administration, and our system 
of supply, and teaching the combined employment of all arms and 
services in combat. Officers were carefully chosen for their suit- 
ability and, considering the short time available, graduates from 
this school returned well equipped for staff duties and with a loyal 
spirit of common service much accentuated. The Staff College car- 
ried to completion four courses of three months each, graduating 
637 staff officers. 


20. Soon after our arrival in Europe careful study was made of 
the methods followed by our Allies in training combat troops. Both 
the French and British maintained continuously a great system 
of schools and training centers, which provided for both theoretical 
and practical instruction of inexperienced officers and noncommis- 
sioned officers. These centers were required not only to train new 
troops, but to prepare officers and soldiers for advancement by 
giving them a short course in the duties of their new grades. These 
school systems made it possible to spread rapidly a knowledge 
of the latest methods developed by experience and at the same time 
counteract false notions. 

21. A similar scheme was adopted in August, 1917, for our Armies 
in which the importance of teaching throughout our forces a sound 
fighting doctrine of our own was emphasized. It provided for troop 
training in all units up to include divisions. Corps centers of in- 
struction for noncommissioned officers and unit commanders of all 
arms were established. These centers also provided special training 
for the instructors needed at corps schools. Base training centers 
for replacement troops and special classes of soldiers, such as cooks 
and mechanics, were designated. The army and corps schools were 
retained under the direct supervision of the Training Section, Gen- 
eral Staff. The schools mentioned graduated 21,330 noncommis- 
sioned officers and 13,916 officers. 


Particular care was taken to search the ranks for the most prom- 
ising soldiers, in order to develop leaders for the command of 
platoons and companies. There were graduated from these candi- 
date schools in France 10,976 soldiers. It was planned to have 
22,000 infantrymen under instruction by January 1, 1919, graduat- 
ing 5,000 to 6,000 each month. In addition, there were to be grad- 
uated monthly 800 artillerymen, 400 engineers, and 200 signalmen, 
making a total of about 7,000 soldiers each month. Prior to Novem- 
ber 14, 1918, 12,732 soldiers were commissioned as officers. 

It must not be thought that such a system is ideal, but it repre- 
sents a compromise between the demand for efficiency and the 
imperative and immediate necessity for trained replacement officers. 

22. Every advantage was taken of the experience of our Allies 
in training officers. It was early reconmiended to the War Depart- 
ment that French and British officers be asked for to assist in the 
instruction of troops in the United States. Pending the organiza- 
tion and development of our own schools, a large number of our 
officers were sent to centers of instruction of the Allied armies. The 
training of our earlier divisions was begun in close association with 
the French divisions, under conditions set forth in the following 
paragraph on divisional training: 

Trench warfare naturally gives prominence to the defensive as opposed 
to the offensive. To guard against this, the basis of instruction should be 
essentially the offensive both in spirit and in practice. The defensive is ac- 
cepted only to prepare for future offensive. 

For training our Artillery units, special localities such as 
Valdahon, Coetquidan, Meucon, and Souge, had to be sought, and 
the instruction was usually carried on in conjunction with French 
artillery followed up later, as far as possible, with field practice 
in cooperation with our own Infantry. 

23. The long period of trench warfare had so impressed itself upon 
the French and British that they had almost entirely dispensed with 
training for open warfare. It was to avoid this result in our Army 
and to encourage the offensive spirit that the following was pub- 
lished in October, 1917: 

1. * * * (a) The above methods to be employed must remain or be- 
come distinctly our own. 

(6) All instruction must contemplate the assumption of a vigorous offen- 
sive. This purpose will be emphasized in every phase of training until it 
becomes a settled habit, of thought. 

(c) The general principles governing combat remain unchanged in their 
essence. This war has developed special features which involve special phases 
of training, but the fundamental ideas enunciated in our DriU Regulations, 
Small Arms Firing Manual, Field Service Regulations, and other service man- 
uals remain the guide for both officers and soldiers and constitute the standard 



by which their efficiency is to be measured, except as modified in detail by 
instructions from these headquarters. 

(d) The rifle and the bayonet are the principal weapons of the infantry 
soldier. He will be trained to a high degree of skill as a marksman, both on 
the target range and in field firing. An aggressive spirit must be developed 
until the soldier feels himself, as a bayonet fighter, invincible in battle. 

(e) All officers and soldiers should realize that at no time in our history 
has discipline been so important; therefore, discipline of the highest order 
must be exacted at all times. The standards for the American Army will 
be those of West Point. The rigid attention, upright bearing, attention to 
detail, uncomplaining obedience to instructions required of the cadet will be 
required of every officer and soldier of our armies in France. * * * 

Recommendations were cabled to Washington emphasizing the 
importance of target practice and musketry training, and recom- 
mending that instruction in open warfare be made the mission of 
troops in the United States, while the training in trench warfare 
so far as necessary be conducted in France. Succeeding divisions, 
whether serving temporarily with the British or French, were 
trained as thus indicated. The assistance of the French imits was 
limited to demonstrations, and, in the beginning, French instructors 
taught the use of French arms and assisted in the preparation of 
elementary trench warfare problems. 

Assuming that divisions would arrive with their basic training 
completed in the United States, one month was allotted for the in- 
struction of small units from battalions down, a second month of 
experience in quiet sectors by battalions, and a third month for field 
practice in open warfare tactics by division, including artillery. 
Unfortimately many divisions did not receive the requisite amount 
of systematic training before leaving the States and complete prepa- 
ration of such units for battle was thus often seriously delayed. 

24. The. system of training profoundly influenced the combat effi- 
ciency of our troops by its determined insistence upon an offensive 
doctrine and upon training in warfare of movement. Instruction 
which had hitherto been haphazard, varying with the ideas and con- 
ceptions of inexperienced commanding officers and indifferent in- 
structors, was brought under a system based on correct principles. 
Approved and systematic methods were maintained and enforced 
largely by the continual presence of members of the Training Section 
with the troops both during the training period and in campaign. 


25. Before our entry into the war, European experience had shown 
that military operations can be carried out successfully and without 
unnecessary loss only in the light of complete and reliable informa- 
tion of the enemy. Warfare with battle lines separated by short 
distances only, made possible the early acquirement of information, 


such as that obtained through airplane photography, observation 
from balloons and planes, sensitive instruments for detecting gun 
positions and raids to secure prisoners and documents. All such in- 
formation, together with that from Allied sources, including mili- 
tary, political, aud economical, was collected, classified, and rapidly 
distributed where needed. 

26. From careful studies of the systems and actual participation 
by our officers in methods in use at various Allied headquarters, an 
Intelligence Service was evolved in our forces which operated suc- 
cessfully from its first organization in August, 1917. 

With us the simpler methods, such as observation from the air and 
ground and the exploitation of prisoners and documents, have 
proved more effective than the less direct means. Every unit from 
the battalion up had an intelligence detachment, but only in divi- 
sions and larger organizations did the intelligence agencies embrace 
all available means and sources, including radio interception stations 
and sound and flash-ranging detachments. 

27. The subjects studied by the Intelligence Section embraced the 
location of the enemy's front line, his order of battle, the history and 
fighting value of his divisions, his manpower, his combat activities, 
circulation and movement, his defensive organizations, supply, con- 
struction and material, air service, radio service, strategy and tac- 
tics, and what he probably knew of our intentions. The political and 
economic conditions within the enemies' countries were also of ex- 
treme importance. 

28. To disseminate conclusions, daily publications were necessary, 
such as a Secret Summary of Intelligence containing information of 
the broadest scope, which concerned only Greneral Headquarters ; and 
a Summary of Information, distributed down to include the divisions, 
giving information affecting the western front. A Press Review 
and a Summary of Air Intelligence were also published. 

Maps showing graphically the disposition and movement of enemy 
troops in our front were the best means for distributing information 
to our troops. At the base printing plant and at General Headquar- 
ters base maps were prepared while mobile printing plants, mounted 
on trucks, accompanied corps and army headquarters. Combat 
troops were thus supplied with excellent maps distributed, just be- 
fore and during an attack, down to include company and platoon 
commanders. Between July 1 and November 11, 1918, over 5,000,000 
maps were used. 

29. The secret service, espionage and counterespionage, was or- 
ganized in close cooperation with the French and British. To pre- 
sent indiscretions in the letters of officers and soldiers, as well as in 


articles written for the press, the Censorship Division was created. 
The Base Censor examined individual letters when the writer so 
desired, censored all mail written in foreign languages, of which 
there were over SO used, and frequently checked up letters of entire 

30. The policy of press censorship adopted aimed to accomplish 
three broad results: 

To prevent the enemy from obtaining important information of 
our forcea 

To give to the people of the United States the maximum informa- 
tion consistent with the limitations imposed by the first object. 

To cause to be presented to the American people the facts as they 
were known at the time. 

There were with our forces 36 regularly accredited correspondents, 
while visiting correspondents reached a total of 411. 


31. In order to hinder the enemy's conquest of Russia and, if pos- 
sible, prevent a German attack on Italy, or in the near east, the 
Allies sought to maintain the offensive on the western front as far as 
their diminished strength and morale would permit. On June 7, 1917, 
the British took Messines, while a succession of operations known 
as the Third Battle of Ypres began on July 31 and terminated with 
the capture of the Passchendaele Ridge November 6-10. The British 
attack at Cambrai is of special interest, since it was here that Ameri- 
can troops (Eleventh Engineers) first participated in active fighting. 

The French successfully attacked on a limited front near Verdun, 
capturing Mort Homme on August 20 and advancing their lines to 
La Forge Brook. In another offensive, begun on October 23, they 
gained considerable ground on Chemin des Dames Ridge. These 
French attacks were characterized by most careful preparation to 
insure success in order to improve the morale of their troops. 

32. Notwithstanding these AJlied attacks on the western front, 
the immense gains by the German armies in the east, culminating at 
Riga on September 3, precipitated the collapse of Russia. The fol- 
lowing month, the Austrians with German assistance surprised the 
Italians and broke through the lines at Caporetto, driving the Italian 
armies back to the Piave River, inflicting a loss of 300,000 men, 
600,000 rifles, 3,000 guns, and enormous stores. This serious crisis 
compelled the withdrawal of 10 French and British divisions from 
the western front to Italy. The German situation on all other the- 
aters was so favorable that as early as November they began the 
movement of divisions toward the western front. If needed, her 

160184*^— H. Doc. 626, 66-2 2 


divisions could be withdrawn from the Italian front before the 
French and British dared recall their divisions. 

33. At first the Allies could hardly hope for a large American 
Army. Marshal Joffre during his visit to America had made special 
request that a combat division be sent at once to Europe as visual 
evidence of our purpose to participate actively in the war, and also 
asked for Engineer regiments and other special service units. 

The arrival of the First Division and the parade of certain of its 
elements in Paris on July 4 caused great enthusiasm and for the time 
being French morale was stimulated. Still Allied apprehension was 
deep-seated and material assistance was imperative. The following 
extract is quoted from the cabled summary of an Allied conference 
held on July 26 with the French and Italian Commanders-in-Chief 
and the British and French Chiefs of StaflP: 

General conclusions reached were necessity for adoption of purely 
defensive attitude on all secondary fronts and withdrawing surplus 
troops for duty on western front. By thus strengthening western front 
believed AlUes could hold until American forces arrive in numbers suffi- 
cient to gain ascendency. 

The conference urged the immediate study of the tonnage situation 
with a view to accelerating the arrival of American troops. With 
the approach of winter, depression among the Allies over the Russian 
collapse and the Italian crisis was intensified by the conviction that 
the Germans would imdertake a decisive offensive in the spring. 

A review of the situation showed that with Eussia out of the war 
the Central Powers would be able to release a large number of divi- 
sions for service elsewhere, and that during the spring and summer 
of 1918, without interfering with the status quo at Salonika, they 
could concentrate on the western front a force much stronger than 
that of the Allies. In view of this, it was represented to the War 
Department in December as of the utmost importance that the Allied 
preparations be expedited. 

34. On December 31, 1917, there were 176,665 American troops in 
France and but one division had appeared on the front. Disappoint- 
ment at the delay of the American effort soon began to develop. 
French and British authorities suggested the more rapid entry of 
our troops into the line and urged the amalgamation of our troops 
with their own, even insisting upon the curtailment of training to 
conform to the strict minimum of trench requirements they con- 
sidered necessary. 

My conclusion was that, although the morale of the German peo- 
ple and of the armies was better than it had been for two years, only 
an untoward combination of circumstances could give the enemy a 
decisive victory before American support as recommended could be 
made effective, provided the Allies secured unity of action. How- 


ever, a situation might arise which would necessitate the temporary 
use of all American troops in the units of our Allies for the defen- 
sive, but nothing in the situation justified the relinquishment of our 
firm purpose to form our own Army under our own flag. 

While the Germans were practicing for open warfare and con- 
centrating their most aggressive personnel in shock divisions, the 
training of the Allies was still limited to trench warfare. As our 
troops were being trained for open warfare, there was every reason 
why we could not allow them to be scattered among our Allies, even 
by divisions, much less as replacements, except by pressure of sheer 
necessity. Any sort of permanent amalgamation would irrevocably 
commit America's fortunes to the hands of the Allies. Moreover it 
was obvious that the lack of homogeneity would render these mixed 
divisions difficult to maneuver and almost certain to break up under 
stress of defeat, with the consequent mutual recrimination. Again, 
ther^ was no doubt that the realization by the German people that 
independent American divisions, corps, or armies were in the field 
with determined purpose would be a severe blow to German morale 
and prestige. 

It was also certain that an early appearance of the larger Amer- 
ican units on the front would be most beneficial to the morale of the 
Allies themselves. Accordingly, the First Division, on January 19, 
1918, took over a sector north of Toul; the Twenty-sixth Division 
went to the Soissons front early in February ; the Forty-second Divi- 
sion entered the line near Luneville, February 21, and the Second 
Division near Verdun, March 18. Meanwhile, the First Army Corps 
Headquarters, Maj. Gen. Hunter Liggett, commanding, was organ- 
ized at Neufchateau on January 20, and the plan to create an inde- 
pendent American sector on the Lorraine front was taking shape. 

This was the situation when the great German offensive was 
launched on March 21, 1918. 

PART n. 


Expediting Shipment of Troops. 

The German Offensives of 1918 and Related Aixjed Agbeements. 

AixiED Commander-in-Chief. 

Employment of American Division b from March to September, 1918. 

Assembling the First American Army. 

St. Mihiel Operation. 

Meuse-Argonne Operation: 

Meuse-Arqonnb, First Phase. 

Meuse-Argonne, Second Phase, 

Meuse-Argonne, Third Phase. 
Operations of the Second Army. 
American Activities on Other Fronts. 
American Troops in Italy. 
American Troops in Russia. 
The Advance into Germany. 
Return of Troops to the United Statbs. 




1. The War Department planned as early as July, 1917, to send 
to France by June 15, 1918, 21 divisions of the then strength of 
20,000 men each, together with auxiliary and replacement troops, 
and those needed for the line of communications, amounting to over 
200,000, making a total of some 650,000 men. "Beginning with 
October, 6 divisions were to be sent during that quarter, 7 during the 
first quarter of 1918, and 8 the second quarter. While these numbers 
fell short of my recommendation of July 6, 1917, which contemplated 
at least 1,000,000 men by May, 1918, it should be borne in mind that 
the main factor in the problem was the amount of shipping to be- 
come available for military purposes, in which must be included 
tonnage required to supply the Allies with steel, coal, and food. 

2. On December 2, 1917, an estimate of the situation was cabled 
to the War Department with the following recommendation: 

Paragraph 3. In view of these conditions, it is of the utmost importance to 
the Allied cause that we move swiftly. The minimum number of troops we 
should plan to have in France by the end of June is 4 Army corps of 24 
divisions in addition to troops for service of the rear. Have impressed the 
present urgency upon Gen. Bliss and other American ntembers of the con- 
ference. Gens. Robertson, Foch, and Bliss agree with me that this is the 
minimum that should be aimed at. This figure is given as the lowest we 
should think of and is placed no higher because the limit of available trans- 
portation would not seem to warrant it. 

Paragraph 4. A study of transportation facilities shows sufficient American 
tonnage to bring over this number of troops, but to do so there must be a re- 
duction in the tonnage allotted to other than Army needs. It Is estimated that 
the shipping needed will have to be rapidly increased up to 2,000,000 tons by 
May, in addition to the amount already allotted. The use of shipping for com- 
mercial purposes must be curtailed as much as possible. The Allies are very 
weak and we must come to their relief this year, 1918. The year after may be 
too late. It is very doubtful if they can hold on until 1919 unless we give them 
a lot of support this year. It is therefore strongly recommended that a com- 
plete readjustment of transportation be made and that the needs of the War 
Department as set forth above be regarded as immediate. Further details of 

these requirements will be sent later. 



and again on December 20, 1917 : 

Understood here that a shipping program based on tonnage in sight pre- 
pared in War College Division in September contemplated that entire First 
Corps with its corps troops and some 32,000 auxiliaries were to have been 
shipped by end of November, and that an additional program for December, 
January, and February contemplates that the shipment of the Second Corps 
with its corps troops and other auxiliaries should be practically completed by 
the end of February. Should auch a program be caried out as per schedule 
and should shipments continue at corresponding rate, It would not succeed in 
placing even three complete corps, with proper proportion of Army troops and 
auxiliaries, in France by the end of May. The actual facts are that shipments 
are not even keeping up to that schedule. It is now the middle of December 
and the First Corps is still incomplete by over two entire divisions* and many 
corps troops. It can not be too emphatically declared that we should be pre- 
pared to take the field with at least four corps by June 30. In view of past 
performances with tonnage heretofore available such a project is impossible 
of fulfillment, but only by most strenuous attempts to attain such a result will 
we be in a position to take a proper part in operations in 1918. In view of 
fact that as the number of our troops here increases a correspondingly greater 
amount of tonnage must be provided for their supply, and also in view of the 
slow rate of shipment with tonnage now available, it is of the most urgent 
importance that more tonnage should be obtained at once as already recom- 
mended in my cables and by Gen. Bliss. 

8. During January, 1918, discussions were held with the British 
authorities that resulted in an agreement, which became known as the 
six-division plan and which provided for the transportation of six 
entire divisions in British tonnage, without interference with our 
own shipping program. High commanders, staff. Infantry, and 
auxiliary troops were to be given experience with British divisions, 
beginning with battalions, the Artillery to be trained under Ameri- 
can direction, using French materiel. It was agreed that when suffi- 
ciently trained these battalions were to be re-formed into regiments 
and that when the Artillery was fully trained all of the units com- 
prising each division were to be united for service under their own 
officers. It was planned that the period of training with the British 
should cover about 10 weeks. To supervise the administration and 
training of these divisions the Second Corps staff was organized 
February 20, 1918. 

In the latter part of January joint note No. 12, presented by the 
Military Eepresentatives with the Supreme War Council, was ap- 
proved by the Council. This note concluded that France would be 
safe during 1918 only under certain conditions, namely : 

(a) That the strength of the British and French troops in France are con- 
tinuously liept up to their present total strength and that they receive the ex- 
pected reinforcements of not less than two American divisions per month. 

• The First, Forty-second, Second, and Twenty-sixth Divisions had arrived ; but not the 
Replacement and the Depot Divisions. 




4. The first German offensive of 1918, beginning March 21, overran 
all resistance during the initial period of the attack. Within eight 
days the enemy had completely crossed the old Somme battlefield 
and had swept everything before him to a depth of some 56 kilo- 
meters. For a few days the loss of the railroad center of Amienzj 
appeared imminent. The offensive made such inroads upon French 
and British reserves that defeat stared them in the face imless the 
new American troops should prove more immediately available than 
even the most optimistic had dared to hope. On March 27 the Mili- 
tary Representatives with the Supreme War Council prepared their 
joint note No. 18. This note repeated the previously quoted state- 
ment from joint note No. 12, and continued : 

The battle which is developing at the present moment in France, and which 
can extend to the other theaters of operations, may very quickly place the 
Allied Armies in a serious situation from the point of view of effectives, and 
the Military Representatives are from this moment of opinion that the above- 
detailed condition (see (a) par. 3) can no longer be maintained, and they con- 
sider as a general proposition that the new situation requires new decisions. 

The Military Representatives are of opinion that it is highly desirable that 
the American Government should assist the Allied Armies as soon as possible 
by permitting in principle the temporary service of American units in Allied 
Army corps and divisions. Such reinforcements must, however, be obtained 
from other imits than those American divisions which are now operating with 
the French, and the units so temporarily employed must eventually be returned 
to the American Army. 

The Military Representatives are of the opinion that from the present time, 
in execution of the foregoing, and until otherwise directed by the Supreme 
War Council, only American infantry and machine-gun units, organized as 
that Government may decide, be brought to France, and that all agreements 
or conventions hitherto made in conflict with this decision be modified 

The Secretary of War, who was in France at this time. Gen. Bliss, 
the American Military Representative with the Supreme War Coun- 
cil, and I at once conferred on the terms of this note, with the result 
that the Secretary recommended to the President that joint note 
No. 18 be approved in the following sense: 

The purpose of the American Government is to render the fullest cooperation 
and aid, and therefore the recommendation of the MiUtary Representatives with 
regard to the preferential transportation of American infantry and machine- 
gun units in the present emergency is approved. Such units, when transported, 
will be under the direction of the Commander-in-Chief of the American Expedi- 
tionary Forces, and will be assigned for training and use by him in his discre- 
tion. He will use these and all other military forces of the United States under 
his command in such manner as to render the greatest military assistance, 
keeping in mind always the determination of this Government to have its 
various military forces collected, as speedily as their training and the military 


situation permits, into an independent American Army, acting in concert with 
the armies of Great Britain and France, and all arrangements made by him 
for their temporary training and service will be made with that end in 

While note No. 18 was general in its terms, the priority of ship- 
ments of infantry more especially pertained to those divisions that 
were to be trained in the British area, as that Government was to 
provide the additional shipping according to the six-division plan 
agreed upon even before the beginning of the March 21 offensive. 

On April 2 the War Department cabled that preferential transpor- 
tation would be given to American infantry and machine-gun units 
during the existing emergency. Preliminary arrangements were 
made for training and early employment with the French of such 
infantry units as might be sent over by our own transportation. 
As for the British agreement, the six-division plan was to be modified 
to give priority to the infantry of those divisions. However, all the 
Allies were now urging the indefinite continuation of priority for the 
shipment of infantry and its complete incorporation in their units, 
which fact was cabled to the War Department on April 3, with the 
specific recommendation that the total immediate priority of infantry 
be limited to four divisions, plus 45,500 replacements, and that the 
necessity for future priority be determined later. 

5. The Secretary of War and I held a conference with British 
authorities on April 7, during which it developed that the British 
had erroneously assumed that the preferential shipment of infantry 
was to be continuous. It was agreed at this meeting that 60,000 
infantry and machine-gun troops, with certain auxiliary units to be 
brought over by British tonnage during April, should go to the 
British area as part of the six-division plan, but that there should 
be a further agreement as to subsequent troops to be brought over by 
the British. Consequently, a readjustment of the priority schedule 
was undertaken on the basis of postponing " shipment of all noncom- 
batant troops to the utmost possible to meet present situation, and 
at the same time not make it impossible to build up our own Army." 

6. The battle line in the vicinity of Amiens had hardly stabilized 
when, on April 9, the Germans made another successful attack 
against the British lines on a front of some 40 kilometers in the 
vicinity of Armentieres and along the Lys River. As a result of its 
being included in a salient formed by the German advance, Passchen- 
daele Eidge, the capture of which had cost so dearly in 1917, was 
evacuated by the British on April 17. 

The losses had been heavy and the British were unable to replace 
them entirely. They were, therefore, making extraordinary efforts 
to increase the shipping available for our troops. On April 21, I 
went to London to clear up certain questions concerning the rate of 


shipment and to reach the further agreement provided for in the 
April 7 conference. The result of this London agreement was cabled 
to Washington April 24, as follows : 

(a) That only the Infantry, machine guns, engineers, and signal troops of 
American dirisions and the headquarters of divisions and brigades be sent over 
in British and American shipping during May for training and service with the 
British army in France up to six divisions and that any shipping in excess olK 
that required for these troops be utilized to tran^ort troops necessary to make 
these divisions complete. The training and service of these troops will be 
carried out in accordance' with plans already agreed upon between Sir Douglas 
Haig and Gen. Pershing, with a view at an early date of building up American 

(&) That the American personnel of the artillery of these divisions and 
such corps troops as may be required to build up American corps organiza- 
tions follow immediately thereafter, and that American artillery personnel 
be trained with French materiel and join its proper divisions as soon as 
thoroughly trained. 

(c) If, when the program outlined in paragraphs (a) and (6) is completed, 
the military situation makes advisable the further shipment of infantry, etc., 
of American divisions, then all the British and American shipping available 
for tran^jort of troops shall be used for that purpose under such arrangement 
as will insure inmiediate aid to the Allies, and at the same time provide at the 
earliest moment for bringing over American artillery and other necessary 
units to complete the organization of American divisions and corps. Provided 
that the combatant troops mentioned in (a) and (&) be followed by such 
Service of the Rear and other troops as may be considered necessary by the 
American Commander-in-Chief. 

(d) That it is contemplated American divisions and corps when trained and 
organized shall be utilized under the American Commander-in-Chief in an 
American group. 

(e) That the American Commander-in-Chief shall allot American troops to 
the French or British foi training or train them with American units at his 
discretion, with the understanding that troops already transported by British 
shipping or included in the six divisions mentioned in paragraph (a) are to 
be trained with the British Army, details as to rations, equipment, and trans- 
port to be determined by special agreement. 

7. At a meeting of the Supreme War Council held at Abbeville 
May 1 and 2, the entire question of the amalgamation of Americans 
with the French and British was reopened. An urgent appeal came 
from both French and Italian representatives for American replace- 
ments or units to serve with their armies. After prolonged discus- 
sion regarding this question and that of priority generally the fol- 
lowing agreement was reached, committing the Council to an inde- 
pendent American Army and providing for the immediate shipment 
of certain troops : 


It is the opinion of the Supreme War Council that, in order to carry the war 
to a successful conclusion, an American Army should be formed as early as 
possible under its own commander and under its own flag. In order to meet 
the present emergency it is agreed that American troops should be brought to 
France as rapidly as Allied transportation facilities will permit, and that, as 
far as consistent with the necessity of building up an American Army, prefer- 


ence will be given to Infantry and machine-gun units for training and service 
with French and British Armies; with the understanding that such infantry 
and machine-gun units are to be withdrawn and united with its own artillery 
and auxiliary troops into divisions and corps at the direction of the Ameri- 
can Commander-in-Chief after consultation with the Commander-in-Chief of 
the Allied Armies iii France. 

Subparagraph A. It is also agreed that during the month of May preference 

Nshould be given to the transportation of infantry and machine-gun units of 

six divisions, and that any excess tonnage shall be devoted to bringing over 

such other troops as may be determined by the American Commander-in-Chief. 

Subparagraph B. It is further agreed that this program shall be continued 
during the month of June upon condition that the British Government shall 
furnish transportation for a minimum of 130,000 men in May and 150,000 men 
in Junei with the understanding that the first six divisions of infantry shall 
go to the British for training and service, and that troops sent over in June 
shall be allocated for training and service as the American Commander-in- 
Chief may determine. 

Subparagraph C. It is also further agreed that if the British Government 
shall transport an excess of 150,000 men in June that such excess shall be 
infantry and machine-gun units, and that early in June there shall be a new 
review of the situation to determine further action. 

The gravity of the situation had brought the Allies to a full 
realization of the necessity of providing all possible tonnage for the 
transportation of American troops. Although their views were ac- 
cepted to the extent of giving a considerable priority to infantry 
and machine gunners, the priority agreed upon as to this class of 
troops was not as extensive as some of them deemed necessary, and 
the Abbeville conference was adjourned with the understanding that 
the question of further priority would be discussed at a conference to 
be held about the end of May. 

8. The next offensive of the enemy was made between the Oise 
and Berry-au-Bac against the French instead of against the British, 
as was generally expected, and it came as a complete surprise. The 
initial Aisne attack, covering a front of 35 kilometers, met with 
remarkable success, as the German armies advanced no less than 50 
kilometers in four days. On reaching the Mame that river was 
used as a defensive flank and the German advance was directed 
toward Paris. During the first days of June something akin to a 
panic seized the city and it was estimated that 1,000,000 people left 
during the spring of 1918. 

The further conference which had been agreed upon at Abbeville 
was held at Versailles on June 1 and 2. The opinion of our Allies as 
to the existing situation and the urgency of their insistence upon 
further priority for infantry and machine gunners are shown by 
the following message prepared by the Prime Ministers of Great 
Britain, France, and Italy, and agreed to by Gen. Foch : 

The Prime Ministers of France, Italy, and Great Britain, now meeting at 
Versailles, desire to send the following message to the President of the United 
States : 


''We desire to express our warmest tbanks to President Wilson for the 
remarkable promptness with which American aid, in excess of what at one time 
seemed practicable, has been rendered to the Allies during the past month to 
meet a great emergency. The crisis, however, still continues. Gen. Foch 
has presented to us a statement of the utmost gravity, which points otit that 
the numerical superiority of the enemy in France, where 162 Allied divisions 
now oppose 200 German divisions, is very heavy, and that, as there is no 
possibility of the British and French increasing the number of their divisions 
(on the contrary, they are put to extreme straits to keep them up) there 
is a great danger of the war being lost unless the numerical inferiority of 
the Allies can be remedied as rapidly as possible by the advent of American 
troops. He, therefore, urges with the utmost insistence that the maximum 
possible number of infantry and machine gunners, in which respect the short- 
age of men on the side of the Allies is most marked, should continue to be 
shipx)ed from America in the months of June and July to aVert the imme- 
diate danger of an Allied defeat in the present campaign owing to the Allied 
reserves being exhausted before those of the enemy. In addition to this, and 
looking to the future, he represents that it is impossible to foresee ultimate 
victory in the war unless America is able to provide such an Army as will 
enable the Allies ultimately to establish numerical superiority. He places 
the total American force required for this at no less than 100 divisions, and 
urges the continuous raising of fresh American levies, which, in his opinion, 
should not be less than 800,000 a month, with a view to establishing a total 
American force of 100 divisions at as early a date as this can possibly be done. 

"We are satisfied that Gen, Foch, who is conducting the present campaign 
with consummate ability, and on whose military judgment we continue to 
place the most absolute reliance, is not overestimating the needs of the case, 
and we feel confident that the Government of the United States will do every- 
thing that can be done, both to meet the needs of the immediate situation and 
to proceed with the continuous raising of fresh levies, calculated to provide, 
as soon as possible, the numerical superiority which the Commander-in-Chief 
of the Allied Armies regards as essential to ultimate victory." 

A separate telegram contains the arrangements which Gen. Foch, Gen. 
Pershing, and Lord Milner have agreed to recommend to the United States 
Government with regard to the dispatch of American troops for the months 
of June and July. 

(Signed) Clemenceau, 

D. Lxx)YD Geobge, 

Such extensive priority had already been given to the transport 
of American infantry and machine gunners that the troops of those 
categories which had received even partial training in the United 
States were practically exhausted. Moreover, the strain on our 
Services of Supply made it essential that early relief be afforded 
by increasing its personnel. At the same time, the corresponding 
services of our Allies had in certain departments been equally over- 
taxed and their responsible heads were urgent in their representa- 
tions that their needs must be relieved by bringing over American 
specialists. The final agreement was cabled to the War Depart- 
ment on June 5, as follows: 


The following agreement has been concluded between Gen. Foch, Lord Mil- 
ner, and myself with reference to the transportation of American troops in the 
months of June and July : 

" rnie following recommendations are made on the assumption that at least 
250,000 men can be transported in each of the months of June and July by the 
employm^it of combined British and American tonnage. We recommend: 

" (a) For the month of June: (1) Absolute priority shall be given to the 
transportation of 170,000 combatant troops (viz, six divisions without ar- 
tillery, ammunition trains, or supply trains, amounting to 126,000 men and 
44,000 replacements for combat troops) ; (2) 25,400 men for the service of the 
railways, of which 13»400 have been asked for by the French Minister of 
Transportation; (3) the balance to be troops of categories to be determined 
by the Commander-in-Chief, American Expeditionary Forces. 

"(b) For the month of July: (1) Absolute priority for the shipment of 140,- 
000 combatant troops of the nature defined above (four divisions minus artil- 
lery "et cetera" amounting to 84,(X)0 men, plus 56,(XX) replacement) ; (2) the 
balance of the 250,(XX) to consist of troops to be designated by the Commander- 
in-Chief, American Expeditionary Forcea 

" (c) It is agreed that if the available tonnage in either month allows of the 
transportation of a larger number of men than 250,000, the excess tonnage 
will be employed in the transportation of combat troops as defined above. 

" (d) We recognize that the combatant troops to be dispatched in July 
may have to include troops which have had insufficient training, but we con- 
sider the present emergency is such as to justify a temporary and exceptional 
departure by the United States from sound principles of training, especially 
as a similar course is beinp followed by France and Great Britain. 

(Signed) "FocH. 

, \ , "MiLNEB. 

" Pkbshing." 

9. The various proposals during these conferences regarding 
priority of shipment, often very insistent, raised questions that were 
not only most difficult but most delicate. On the one hand, there was 
a critical situation which must be met by immediate action, while, 
on the other hand, any priority accorded a particular arm necessarily 
postponed the formation of a distinctive American fighting force 
and the means to supply it. Such a force was, in my opinion, abso- 
lutely necessary to win the war. A few of the Allied representatives 
became convinced that the American Services of Supply should not 
be neglected but should be developed in the common interest. The 
success of our divisions during May and June demonstrated fully 
that it was not necessary to draft Americans under foreign flags in 
order to utilize American manhood most effectively. 


10. When, on March 21, 1918, the German Army on the western 
front began its series of offensives, it was by far the most formidable 
force the world had ever seen. In fighting men and guns it had a 
great superiority, but this was of less importance than the advantage 
in morale, in experience, in training for mobile warfare, and in 


unity of command. Ever since the collapse of the Russian armies 
and the crisis on the Italian front in the fall of 1917, German armies 
were being assembled and trained for the great campaign which was 
to end the war before America's effort could be brought to bear. 
Germany's best troops, her most successful generals, and all the ex- 
perience gained in three years of war were mobilized for the supreme 

The first blow fell on the right of the British Armies, including 
the junction of the British and French forces. Only the prompt 
cooperation of the French and British general headquarters stemmed 
the tide. The reason for this objective was obvious and strikingly 
illustrated the necessity for having someone with sufficient authority 
over all the Allied Armies to meet such an emergency. The lack of 
complete cooperation among the Allies on the western front had been 
appreciated and the question of preparation to meet a crisis had al- 
ready received attention by the Supreme War Council. A plan had 
been adopted by which each of the Allies would furnish a certain 
number of divisions for a general reserve to be under the direction 
of the military representatives of the Supreme War Council of which 
Gen. Foch was then the senior member. But when the time came to 
meet the German offensive in March these reserves were not found 
available and the plan failed. 

This situation resulted in a conference for the immediate considera- 
tion of the question of having an Allied Commander-in-Chief. After 
much discussion during which my view favoring such action was 
clearly stated, an agreement was reached and Gen. Foch was selected. 
His appointment as such was made April 3 and was approved for the 
United States by the President on April 16. The terms of the 
agreement imder which Gen. Foch exercised his authority were as 
follows : 

Beauvais, April 5, 1918, 
Gen. Foch is charged by the British, French, and American Governments 
with the coordination of the action of the AlUed Armies on the western front ; 
to this end there is conferred on him aU the powers necessary for its effective 
realization. To the same end, the British, French, and American Governments 
confide in Gen. Foch the strategic direction of military operations. 

The Commander-in-Chief of the British, French, and American Armies will 
exercise to the fullest extent the tactical direction of their armies. Each 
Commander-in-Chief wiU have the right to appeal to his Government, if in his 
opinion his Army is placed in danger by the instructions received from Gen. 

(Signed) G. Clemencbatt. 

F. Foch. 
Lloyd Geobob. 
D. Haig, F. M, 

HiBNBY Wilson, General, S4*iS. 
Taskeb H. Bliss, (General and Chief of Staff. 
John J. Pebshing, General, U. 8. A, 




11. The grave crisis precipitated by the first German offensive 
caused me to make a hurried visit to Gen. Foch's headquarters, 
at Bombon, during which all our combatant forces were placed at his 
disposal. The* acceptance of this offer meant the dispersion of our 
troops along the Allied front and a consequent delay in building up 
a distinctive American force in Lorraine, but the serious situation of 
the Allies demanded this divergence from our plans. 

On March 21, approximately 300,000 American troops had reached 
France. Four combat divisions, equivalent in strength to eight 
French or British divisions, were available — ^the First and Second 
then in line, and the Twenty-sixth and Forty-second just withdrawn 
from line after one month's trench warfare training. The last two 
divisions at once began taking over quiet sectors to release divisions 
for the battle; the Twenty-sixth relieved the First Division, which 
was sent to northwest of Paris in reserve ; the Forty-second relieved 
two French divisions from quiet sectors. In addition to these 
troops, one regiment of the Ninety-third Division was with the 
J^rench in the Argonne, the Forty-first Depot Division was in the 
Services of Supply, and three divisions (Third, Thirty-second, and 
Fifth) were arriving. 

12. On April 25 the First Division relieved two French divisions 
on the front near Montdidier and on May 28 captured the impor- 
tant observation stations on the heights of Cantigny with splendid 
dash. French artillery, aviation, tanks, and flame throwers aided 
in the attack, but most of this French assistance was withdrawn 
before the completion of the operation in order to meet the enemy's 
new offensive launched May 27 toward Chateau-Thierry. The 
enemy reaction against our troops at Cantigny was extremely vio- 
lent, and apparently he was determined at all costs to counteract 
the most excellent effect the American success had produced. For 
three days his guns of all calibers were concentrated on our new 
position and counterattack succeeded counterattack. The desperate 
efforts of the Germans gave the fighting at Cantigny a seeming 
tactical importance entirely out of proportion to the numbers in- 

13. Of the three divisions arriving in France when the first Ger- 
man offensive began, the Thirty-second, intended for replacements, 
had been temporarily employed in the Services of Supply to meet a 
shortage of personnel, but the critical situation caused it to be re- 
assembled and by May 21 it was entering the line in the Vosges. At 
this time the Fifth Division, though still incomplete, was also 
ordered into the line in the same region. The Third Division was 


assembling in its training area and the Third Corps staff had just 
been organized to administer these three divisions. In addition to 
the eight divisions already mentioned, the Twenty-eighth and Sev- 
enty-seventh had arrived in the British area, and the Fourth, Twenty- 
seventh, Thirtieth, Thirty-third, Thirty-fifth, and Eighty-second 
were arriving there. Following the agreements as to British ship- 
ping, our troops came so rapidly that by the end of May we had 
a force of 600,000 in France. 

The third German offensive on May 27, against the French on the 
Aisne, soon developed a desperate situation for the Allies. The 
Second Division, then in reserve northwest of Paris and preparing 
to relieve the First Division, was hastily diverted to the vicinity 
of Meaux on May 31, and, early on the morning of June 1, was de- 
ployed across the Chateau-Thierry-Paris road near Montreuil-aux- 
Lions in a gap in the French line, where it stopped the German ad- 
vance on Paris. At the same time the partially trained Third Divi- 
sion was placed ait French disposal to hold the crossings of the 
Mame, and its motorized machine-gun battalion succeeded in reach- 
ing Chateau-Thierry in time to assist in successfully defending that 
river crossing. 

The enemy having been halted, the Second Division commenced 
a series of vigorous attacks on June 4, which resulted in the cap- 
ture of Belleau Woods after very severe fighting. The village of 
Bouresches was taken soon after, and on July 1 Vaux was captured. 
In these operations the Second Division met with most desperate 
resistance by Germany's best troops. 

14. To meet the March offensive, the French had extended their 
front from the Oise to Amiens, about 60 kilometers, and during the 
German drive along the Lys had also sent reinforcements to assist 
the British. The French lines had been further lengthened about 
45 kilometers as a result of the Mame pocket made by the Aisne 
offensive. This increased frontage and the heavy fighting had re- 
duced French reserves to an extremely low point. 

Our Second Corps, under Maj. Gen. George W. Bead, had been 
organized for the command of the 10 divisions with the British, 
which were held back in training areas or assigned to second-line 
defenses. After consultation with Field Marshal Haig on June 3, 
5 American divisions were relieved from the British area to sup- 
port the French. The Seventy-seventh and Eighty-second Divisions 
were moved south to release the Forty-second and Twenty-sixth for 
employment on a more active portion of the front; the Thirty-fifth 
Division entered the line in the Vosges, and the Fourth and Twenty- 
eighth Divisions were moved to the region of Meaux and Chateau- 
Thierry as reserves. 

160184'*— H. Doc. 626, 66-2 3 


On June 9 the Germans attacked the Montdidier-Noyon front in 
an effort to widen the Mame pocket and bring their lines nearer 
to Paris, but were stubbornly held by the French with comparatively 
little loss of ground. In view of the unexpected results of the three 
preceding attacks by the enemy, this successful defense proved bene- 
ficial to the Allied morale, particularly as it was believed that the 
German losses were unusually heavy. 

15. On July 15, the date of the last German offensive, the First, 
Second, Third, and Twenty-sixth Divisions were on the Chateau- 
Thierry front with the Fourth and Twenty-eighth in support, some 
small units of the last two divisions gaining front-line experience 
with our troops or with the French ; the Forty-second Division was 
in support of the French east of Bheims; and four colored regiments 
were with the French in the Argonne. On the Alsace-Lorraine front 
we had five divisions in line with the French. Five were with the 
British Army, three having elements in the line. In our training 
areas four divisions were assembled and four were in the process 
of arrival. 

The Mame salient was inherently weak and offered an opportunity 
for a counteroffensive that was obvious. If successful, such an opera- 
tion would afford immediate relief to the Allied defense, would re- 
move the threat against Paris, and free the Paris-Nancy Railroad. 
But, more important than all else, it would restore the morale of the 
Allies and remove the profound depression and fear then existing. 
Up to this time our units had been put in here and there at critical 
points as emergency troops to stop the terrific German advance. In 
every trial, whether on the defensive or offensive, they had proved 
themselves equal to any troops in Europe. As early as June 23 and 
again on July 10 at Bombon, I had very strongly urged that our best 
divisions be concentrated under American command, if possible, for 
use as a striking force against the Mame salient. Although the pre- 
vailing view among the Allies was that American units were suitable 
only for the defensive, and that at all events they could be used to 
better advantage under Allied command, the suggestion was accepted 
in principle, and my estimate of their offensive fighting qualities v^as 
soon put to the test. 

The enemy had encouraged his soldiers to believe that the July 15 
attack would conclude the war with a German peace. Although he 
made elaborate plans for the operation, he failed to conceal fully his 
intentions, and the front of attack was suspected at least one week 
ahead. On the Champagne front the actual hour for the assault was 
known and the enemy was checked with heavy losses. The Forty- 
second Division entered the line near Somme Py immediately, and 
five of its infantry battalions and all its artillery became engaged. 
Southwest of Bheims and along the Marne to the east of Chateau- 



Thierry the Germans were at first somewhat successful, a penetration 
of 8 kilometers beyond the river being effected against the French 
immediately to the right of our Third Division. The following 
quotation from the report of the commanding general Third Division 
gives the result of the fighting on his front : 

Although the rush of the German troops overwhelined some of the froot-line 
positions, causing the infantry and machine-gun companies to suffer, in some 
cases a 50 per cent loss, no German soldier crossed the road from Fossoy to 
Crezancy, except as a prisoner of war, and by noon of the following day 
(July 16) there were no Germans in the foreground of the Third Division 
sector except the dead. 

On this occasion a single regiment of the Third Division wrote 
one of the most brilliant pages in our military annals. It prevented 
the crossing at certain points on its front, while on either flank the 
Germans who had gained a footing pressed forward. Our men, 
firing in three directions, met the German attacks with counter- 
attacks at critical points and succeeded in throwing two German 
divisions into complete confusion, capturing 600 prisoners. 

16. The selection by the Germans of the Champagne sector and 
the eastern and southern faces of the Mame pocket on which to 
make their offensive was fortunate for the Allies, as it favored the 
launching of the counterattack already planned. There were now 
over 1,200,000 American troops in France, which provided a con- 
siderable force of reserves. Every American division with any sort 
of training was made available for use in a counteroffensive. 

Gen. Petain's initial plan for the counterattack involved the entire 
western face of the Marne salient. The First and Second American 
Divisions, with the First French Moroccan Division between them, 
were employed as the spearhead of the main attack, driving directly 
eastward, through the most sensitive portion of the German lines, 
to the heights south of Soissons. The advance began on July 18, 
without the usual brief warning of a preliminary bombardment, 
and these three divisions at a single bound broke through the enemy's 
infantry defenses and overran his artillery, cutting or interrupting 
the German communications leading into the salient.^ A general 
withdrawal from the Marne was immediately begun by the enemy, 
who still fought stubbornly to prevent disaster. 

The First Division, throughout 4 days of constant fighting, 
advanced 11 kilometers, capturing Berzy-le-Sec and the heights 
above Soissons and taking some 3,500 prisoners and 68 field guns 
from the 7 German divisions employed against it. It was re- 
lieved by a British division. The Second Division advanced 8 
kilometers in the first 26 hours, and by the end of the second day 

* See pJate No. 1. 


was facing Tigny, having captured 3,000 prisoners and 66 field guns. 
It was relieved the night of the 19th by a French division. The 
result of this counteroffensive was of decisive importance. Due to 
the magnificent dash and power displayed on the field of Soissons 
by our First and Second Divisions the tide of war was definitely 
turned in favor of the Allies. 

Other American divisions participated in the Mame counter- 
offensive. A little to the south of the Second Division, the Fourth 
was in line with the French and was engaged until July 22. The 
First American Corps, Maj. G^n. Hunter Liggett commanding, 
with the Twenty-sixth Division and a French division, acted as a 
pivot of the movement toward Soissons, capturing Torcy on the 
18th and reaching the Chateau-Thierry-Soissons road on the 21sL 
At the same time the Third Division crossed the Mame and took 
the heights of Mont St. Pere and the villages of Charteves and 

In the First Corps, the Forty-second Division relieved the Twenty- 
sixth on July 25 and extended its front, on the 26th relieving the 
French division. From this time until August 2 it fought its way 
through the Forest de Fere and across the Ourcq, advancing toward 
the Vesle until relieved by the Fourth Division on August 3. Early 
in this period elements of the Twenty-eighth Division participated 
in the advance. 

Farther to the east the Third Division forced the enemy back to 
Eoncheres Wood, where it was relieved on July 30 by the Thirty- 
second Division from the Vosges front. The Thirty-second, after 
relieving the Third and some elements of the Twenty-eighth on the 
line of the Ourcq Eiver, advanced abreast of the Forty-second toward 
the Vesle. On August 3 it passed under control of our Third Corps, 
Maj. Gen. Bobert L. Bullard commanding, which made its first ap- 
pearance in battle at this time, while the Fourth Division took up 
the task of the Forty-second Division and advanced with the Thirty- 
second to the Vesle Eiver, where, on August 6, the operation for the 
reduction of the Mame salient terminated. 

In the hard fighting from July 18 to August 6 the Germans were 
not only halted in their advance but were driven back from the 
Mame to the Vesle and committed wholly to the defensive. The 
force of American arms had been brought to bear in time to enable 
the last offensive of the enemy to be crushed. 

17. The First and Third Corps now held a continuous front of 11 
kilometers along the Vesle. On August 12 the Seventy-seventh Divi- 
sion relieved the Fourth Division on the First Corp& front, and the 
following day the Twenty-eighth relieved the Thirty-second Division 
in the Third Corps, while from August 6 to August 10 the Sixth 


Infantry Brigade of the Third Division held a sector on the river 
line. The transfer of the First Corps to the Woevre was ordered 
at this time, and the control of its front was turned over to the 
Third Corps. 

On August 18 Gen. Petain began an offensive between Bheims and 
the Oise. Our Third Corps participated in this operation, crossing 
the Vesle on September 4 with the Twenty-eighth and Seventy- 
seventh Divisions and overcoming stubborn opposition on the plateau 
south of the Aisne, which was reached by the Seventy-seventh on 
September 6. The Twenty-eighth was withdrawn from the line on 
September 7. Two days later the Third Corps was transferred to 
the region of Verdun, the Seventy-seventh Division remaining in 
line on the Aisne River until September 17. 

The Thirty-second division, upon its relief from the battle on the 
Vesle, joined a French corps north of Soissons and attacked from 
August 29 to 31, capturing Juvigny after some particularly desper- 
ate fighting and reaching the Chauny-Soissons road. 

18. On the British front two regiments of the Thirty-third Di- 
vision participated in an attack on Hamel July 4, and again on 
August 9 as an incident of the allied offensive against the Amiens 
salient. One of these regiments took Gressaire Wood and Chipilly 
Eidge, capturing 700 prisoners and considerable materiel. 


19. In conference with Gen. Petain at Chantilly on May 19 it had 
been agreed that the American Army would soon take complete 
charge of the sector of the Woevre. The Twenty-sixth Division was 
already in line in the Woevre north of Toul and was to be followed 
by other American divisions as they became available, with the 
understanding that the sector was to pass to our control when four 
divisions were in the line. But demands of the battle then going on 
farther west required the presence of our troops, and the agreement 
had no immediate result. Due to the presence of a number of our di- 
visions northeast of Paris, the organization of an American corps 
sector in the Chateau-Thierry region was taken up with Gen. Petain, 
and on July 4 the First Corps assumed tactical control of a sector 
in that region. This was an important step, but it was by no means 
satisfactory, as only one American division at the moment was oper- 
ating under the control of the First Corps, while we had at this 
time eight American divisions in the front line serving in French 

20. The counter-offensives against tihe Marne salient in July, and 
against the Amiens salient in August had gained such an advantage 
that it was apparent that the emergency, which justified the dis- 


persion of our divisions, had passed. The moment was propitious 
for assembling our divisions. Scattered as they were along the 
Allied front*, their supply had become very difficult. From every 
point of view the immediate organization of an independent Amer- 
ican force was indicated. The formation of the Army in the 
Chateau-Thierry region and its early transfer to the sector of the 
Woevre, which was to extend from Nomeny, east of the Moselle, to 
north of St. Mihiel, was therefore decided upon by Marshal Foch 
and myself on August 9, and the details were arranged with Gen. 
Petain later on the same day. 


21. At Bombon on July 24 there was a conference of all the Com- 
manders-in-Chief for the purpose of considering Allied operations. 
Each presented proposals for the employment of the armies under 
his command and these formed the basis of future cooperation of 
the Allies. It was emphatically determined that the Allied attitude 
should be to maintain the offensive. As the first operation of the 
American Army, the reduction of the salient of St. Mihiel was to 
be undertaken as soon as the necessary troops and material could be 
made available. On account of the swampy nature of the country 
it was especially important that the movement be undertaken and 
finished before the fall rains should begin, which was usually about 
the middle of September. 

Arrangements were concluded for successive relief of American 
divisions and the organization of the First American Army under 
my personal command was announced on August 10, with La Ferte- 
sous-Jouarre as headquarters. This Army nominally assumed con- 
trol of a portion of the Vesle front, although at the same time direc- 
tions were given for its secret concentration in the St. Mihiel sector. 

22. The force of American soldiers in France at that moment wbs 
sufficient to carry out this offensive, but they were dispersed along 
the front from Switzerland to the Channel. The three Army Corps 
headquarters to participate in the St. Mihiel attack were the First, 
Fourth, and Fifth. The First was on the Vesle, the Fourth at Toul, 
and the Fifth not yet completely organized. To assemble combat 
divisions and service troops and undertake a major operation, 
within the short period available and with staffs so recently or- 
ganized, was an extremely difficult task. Our deficiencies in Artil- 
lery, Aviation, and special troops, caused by the shipment of an un- 
due proportion of Infantry and Machine Guns during the summer, 
were largely met by the French. 

» See plate No. 5. • See plate No. 2. 


23. The reduction of the St. Mihiel salient was important, as it 
would prevent the enemy from interrupting traffic on the Paris- 
Nancy Eailroad by artillery fire and would free the railroad leading 
north through St. Mihiel to Verdun. It would also provide us with 
an advantageous base of departure for an attack against the Metz- 
Sedan Railroad system which was vital to the German armies west 
of Verdun, and against the Briey Iron Basin which was necessary 
for the production of German armament and munitions. 

The general plan was to make simultaneous attacks against the 
flanks of the salient. The ultimate objective was tentatively fixed 
as the general line Marieulles (east of the Moselle) — ^heights south 
of Gorze-Mars la Tour-Etain. The operation contemplated the use 
on the western face of 3 or 4 American divisions, supported by 
the attack of 6 divisions of the Second French Army on their left, 
while 7 American divisions would attack on the southern face, 
and 3 French divisions would press the enemy at the tip of the 
salient. As the part to be taken by the Second French Army would 
be closely related to the attack of the First American Army, Gen. 
Petain placed all the French troops involved under my personal 

By August 30, the concentration of the scattered divisions, corps, 
and army troops, of the quantities of supplies and munitions re- 
quired, and the necessary construction of light railways and roads, 
were well under way. 

24. In accordance with the previous general consideration of oper- 
ations at Bombon on July 24, an allied offensive extending prac- 
tically along the entire active front was eventually to be carried 
out. After the reduction of the St. Mihiel sector the Americans were 
to cooperate in the concerted effort of the Allied armies. It was 
the sense of the conference of July 24, that the extent to which 
the different operations already planned might carry us could not 
be then foreseen, especially if the results expected were achieved 
before the season was far advanced. It seemed reasonable at that 
time to look forward to a combined offensive for the autumn, which 
would give no respite to the enemy and would increase our advan- 
tage for the inauguration of succeeding operations extending into 

On August 30, a further discussion with Marshal Foch was 
held at my headquarters at I igny-en-Barrois. In view of the new 
successes of the French and British near Amiens and the continued 
favorable results toward the Chemin des Dames on the French front, 
it was now believed that the limited allied offensive, which was to 
prepare for the campaign of 1919, might be carried further before 
the end of the year^ At this meeting it was proposed by Marshal 


Foch that the general operations as far as the American Army was 
^concerned should be carried out in detail by : 

{a) An attack between the Meuse and the Argonne by the Second 
French Army, reinforced by from four to six American divisions. 

(&) A French- American attack, extending from the Argonne west 
to the Souain Eoad, to be executed on the right by an American 
Army astride the Aisne and on the left by the Fourth French Army. 

To carry out these attacks the 10 to 11 American divisions sug- 
gested for the St. Mihiel operation and the 4 to 6 for the Second 
French Army, would leave 8 to 10 divisions for an American Army 
on the Aisne. It was proposed that the St. Mihiel operation should 
be initiated on September 10 and the other two on September 15 and 
20, respectively. 

25. The plan suggested for the American participation in these 
operations was not acceptable to me because it would require the 
immediate separation of the recently formed First American Army 
into several groups, mainly to assist French armies. This was di- 
rectly contrary to the principle of forming a distinct American 
Army, for which my contention had been insistent. An enormous 
amount of preparation had already been made in construction of 
roads, railroads, regulating stations, and other installations looking 
to the use and supply of our armies on a particular front. The in- 
herent disinclination of our troops to serve under allied commanders 
would have grown and American morale would have suffered. My 
position was stated quite clearly that the strategical employment of 
the First Army as a unit would be undertaken where desired, but its 
disruption to carry out these proposals would not be entertained. 

A further conference at Marshal Foch's headquarters was held on 
September 2, at which Gen. Petain was present. After discussion the 
question of employing the American Army as a unit was conceded. 
The essentials of the strategical decision previously arrived at pro- 
vided that the advantageous situation of the Allies should be ex- 
ploited to the utmost by vigorously continuing the general battle and 
extending it eastward to the Meuse. All the Allied armies were to be 
employed iii a converging action. The British armies, supported by 
the left of the French armies, were to pursue the attack in the direc- 
tion of Cambrai; the center of the French armies, west of Eheims, 
would continue the actions, already begun, to drive the enemy be- 
yond the Aisne ; and the American Army, supported by the right ot 
the French armies, would direct its attack on Sedan and Mezieres. 

It should be recorded that although this general offensive was fully 
outlined at the conference no one present expressed the opinion that 
the final victory could be won in 1918. In fact, it was believed by 
the French high command that the Meuse- Argonne attack could not 


be pushed much beyond Montfaucon before the arrival of winter 
would force a cessation of operations. 

26. The choice between the two sectors, that east of the Aisne 
including the Argonne Forest, or the Champagne sector, was left to 
me. In my opinion, no other Allied troops had the morale or the 
offensive spirit to overcome successfully the difficulties to be met in 
the Meuse- Argonne sector and our plans and installations had been 
prepared for an expansion of operations in that direction. So the 
Meuse- Argonne front was chosen. The entire sector of 150 kilo- 
meters of front, extending from Port-sur-Seillp, east of the Moselle, 
west to include the Argonne Forest, was accordingly placed under 
my command, including all French divisions then in that zone. The 
First American Army was to proceed with the St. Mihiel operation, 
after which the operation between the Meuse and the western edge 
of the Argonne Forest was to be prepared and launched not later 
than September 25. 

As a result of these decisions, the depth of the St. Mihiel opera- 
tion was limited to the line VigneuUes - Thiaucourt - Regnieville. 
The number of divisions to be used was reduced and the time short- 
ened. 18 to 19 divisions were to be in the front line. There were 
4 French and 15 American divisions available, 6 of which would be 
in reserve, while the two flank divisions of the front line were not 
to advance. Furthermore, 2 Army Corps headquarters, with their 
corps troops, practically all the Army Artillery and Aviation, and the 
First, Second, and Fourth Divisions, the first two destined to take 
a leading part in the St. Mihiel attack, were all due to be withdrawn 
and started for the Meuse- Argonne by the fourth day of the battle. 

27. The salient had been held by the Germans since September, 
1914. It covered the most sensitive section of the enemy's position 
on the Western Front; namely, the Mezieres-Sedan-Metz Bailroad 
and the Briey Iron Basin; it threatened the entire region between 
Verdun and Nancy, and interrupted the main rail line from Paris 
to the east. Its primary strength lay in the natural defensive fea- 
tures of the terrain itself. The western face of the salient extended 
along the rugged, heavily wooded eastern heights of the Meuse ; the 
southern face followed the heights of the Meuse for 8 kilometers 
to the east and then crossed the plain of the Woevre, including within 
the German lines the detached heights of Loupmont and Montsec 
which dominated the plain and afforded the enemy unusual facilities 
for observation. The enemy had reinforced the positions by every 
artificial means during a period of four years. 

28. On the night of September 11, the troops of the First Army 
were deployed in position. On the southern face of the salient was 
the Firsit Corps, Maj. Gen. Liggett, commanding, with the Eighty- 


second, Ninetieth, Fifth, and Second Divisions in line, extending 
from the Moselle westward. On its left was the Fourth Corps, Maj. 
Gen. Joseph T. Dickman, commanding, with the Eighty-ninth, 
Forty-second, and First Divisions, the left of this corps being op- 
posite Montsec. These two Army Corps were to deliver the principal 
attack, the line pivoting on the center division of the First Corps. 
The First Division on the left of the Fourth Corps was charged with 
the double mission of covering its own flank while advancing some 
20 kilometers due north toward the heart of the salient, where it was 
to make contact with tjie troops of the Fifth Corps. On the western 
face of the salient lay the Fifth Corps, Maj. Gen. George H. Came- 
ron, commanding, with the Twenty-sixth Division, Fifteenth French 
Colonial Division, and the Fourth Division in line, from Mouilly 
west to Les Eparges and north to Watronville. Of these three divis- 
ions, the Twenty-sixth alone was to make a deep advance directed 
southeast toward Vigneulles. The French Division was to make a 
short progression to the edge of the heights in order to cover the 
left of the Twenty-sixth. The Fourth Division was not to advance. 
In the center, between our Fourth and Fifth Army Corps, was the 
Second French Colonial Corps, Maj. Gen. E. J. Blondlat, command- 
ing, covering a front of 40 Idlometers with 3 small French divi- 
sions. These troops were to follow up the retirement of the enemy 
from the tip of the salient. 

The French independent air force was at my disposal which, to- 
gether with the British bombing squadrons and our own air forces, 
gave us the largest assembly of aviation that had ever been engaged 
in one operation. Our heavy guns were able to reach Metz and to 
interfere seriously with German rail movements. 

At dawn on September 12, after four hours of violent artillery fire 
of preparation, and accompanied by small tanks, the Infantry of the 
First and Fourth Corps advanced. The infantry of the Fifth Corps 
commenced its advance at 8 a. m. The operation was carried out 
with entire precision. Just after daylight on September 13, elements 
of the First and Twenty-sixth Divisions made a junction near Hat- 
tonchatel and Vigneulles, 18 kilometers northeast of St. Mihiel. The 
rapidity with which our divisions advanced overwhelmed the enemy, 
and all objectives were reached by the afternoon of September 13. 
The enemy had apparently started to withdraw some of his troops 
from the tip of the salient on the eve of our attack, but had been 
unable to carry it through. We captured nearly 16,000 prisoners, 443 
guns, and large stores of material and supplies. The energy and 
swiftness with which the operation was carried out enabled us ,to 
smother opposition to such an extent that we suffered less than 7,000 
casualties during the actual period of the advance. 


During the next two days the right of our line west of the Moselle 
Eiver was advanced beyond the objectives laid down in the original 
orders. This completed the operation for the time being and the 
line was stabilized to be held by the smallest practicable force. 

29. The material results of the victory achieved were very im- 
portant. An American Army was an accomplished fact, and the 
enemy had felt its power. No form of propaganda could overcome 
the depressing effect on the morale of the enemy of this demonstration 
of our ability to organize a large American force and drive it success- 
fully through his defenses. It gave our troops implicit confidence in 
their superiority and raised their morale to the highest pitch. For the 
first time wire entanglements ceased to be regarded as impassable 
barriers and open-waffare training, which had been so urgently i- 
sisted upon, proved to be the correct doctrine. Our divisions con- 
cluded the attack with such small losses and in such high spirits 
that without the usual rest they were immediately available for em- 
ployment in heavy fighting in a new theater of operations. The 
strength of the First Army in this battle totaled approximately 
500,000 men, of whom about 70,000 were French. 


30. The definite decision for the Meuse-Argonne phase of the great 
allied convergent attack was agreed to in my conference with Marshal 
Foch and Gen. Petain on September 2. It was planned to use all 
available forces of the First Army, including such divisions and 
troops as we might be able to withdraw from the St. Mihiel front. 
The Army was to break through the enemy's successive fortified zones 
to include the Kriemhilde-Stellung, or Hindenburg Line, on the front 
Brieulles-Eomagne sous Montfaucon-Grandpre, and thereafter, by 
developing pressure toward Mezieres, was to insure the fall of the 
Hindenburg Line along the Aisne Eiver in front of the Fourth French 
Army, which was to attack to the west of the Argonne Forest. A 
penetration of some 12 to 16 kilometers was required to reach the 
Hindenburg Line on our front, and the enemy's defenses were virtu- 
ally continuous throughout that depth. 

The Meuse-Argonne front had been practically stabilized in Sep- 
tember, 1914, and, except for minor fluctuations during the German 
attacks on Verdim in 1916 and the French counteroffensive in Au- 
gust, 1917, remained unchanged until the American advance in 1918. 
The net result of the four years' struggle on this ground was a Ger- 
man defensive system of unusual depth and strength and a wide 
zone of utter devastation, itself a serious obstacle to offensive 

^ See plate No. 4. 


3L The strategical importance of this portion of the line was sec- 
ond to none on the western front. All supplies and evacuations of 
the German armies in northern France were dependent upon two 
great railway systems — one in the north, passing through Liege, 
while the other in the south, with lines coming from Luxemburg, 
Thionville, and Metz, had as its vital section the line Carignan- 
Sedan-Mezieres. No other important lines were available to the 
enemy, as the mountainous masses of the Ardennes Ts^ade the con- 
struction of east and west lines through that region impracticable. 
The Carignan-Sedan-Mezieres line was essential to the Germans for 
the rapid strategical movement of troops. Should this southern sys- 
tem be cut by the Allies before the enemy could withdraw his forces 
through the narrow neck between Mezieres and the Dutch frontier, 
the ruin of his armies in France and Belgium would be complete. 

From the Meuse-Argonne front the perpendicular distance to the 
Carignan-Mezieres railroad was 50 kilometers. This region formed 
the pivot of German operations in northern France, and the vital 
necessity of covering the great railroad line into Sedan resulted in 
the convergence on the Meuse-Argonne front of the successive Ger- 
man defensive positions. The effect of this convergence can be best 
understood by reference to plate No. 3. It will be seen, for example, 
that the distance between " no man's land " and the third German 
withdrawal position in the vicinity of the Meuse Kiver was approxi- 
mately 18 kilometers; the distance between the corresponding points 
near the tip of the great salient of the western front was about 65 
kilometers, and in the vicinity of Cambrai was over 30 kilometers. 
The effect of a penetration of 18 kilometers by the American Army 
would be equivalent to an advance of 65 kilometers farther west; 
furthermore, such an advance on our front was far more dangerous 
to the enemy than an advance elsewhere. The vital importance of 
this portion of his position was fully appreciated by the enemy, who 
had suffered tremendous losses in 1916 in attempting to improve it 
by the reduction of Verdun. As a consequence it had been elaborately 
fortified, and consisted of practically a continuous series of positions 
20 kilometers or more in depth. 

Li addition to the artificial defenses, the enemy was greatly aided 
by the natural features of the terrain. East of the Meuse the domi- 
nating heights not only protected his left but gave him positions 
from which powerful artillery could deliver an oblique fire on the 
western bank. Batteries located in the elaborately fortified Argonne 
forest covered his right flank, and could cross their fire with that 
of the guns on the east bank of the Meuse. Midway between the 
Meuse and the forest the heights of Montf aucon offered perfect obser- 
vation and formed a strong natural position which had been heavily 
fortified. The east and west ridges abutting on the Meuse and Aire 


Briver valleys afforded the enemy excellent machine-gun positions 
for the desperate defense which the importance of the position would 
require him to make. North of Montfaucon densely wooded and 
rugged heights constituted natural features favorable to defensive 

32. When the First Army became engaged in the simultaneous 
preparation for two major operations, an interval of 14 days sep- 
arated the initiation of the two attacks. During this short period 
the movement of the immense number of troops and the amount of 
supplies involved in the Meuse-Argonne battle, over the few roads 
available, and confined entirely to the hours of darkness, was one 
of the most delicate and difficult problems of the war. The concen- 
tration included 15 divisions, of which 7 were involved in the 
pending St. Mihiel drive, 3 were in sector in the Vosges, 3 in 
the neighborhood of Soissons, 1 in a training area, and 1 near Bar- 
le-Duc. Practically all the Artillery, Aviation, and other auxilia- 
ries to be employed in the new operations were committed to the 
St. Mihiel attack and therefore could not be moved until its success 
was assured. The concentration of all imits not to be used at St. 
Mihiel was commenced immediately, and on September 13, the 
second day of St. Mihiel, reserve divisions and Army Artillery 
units were withdrawn and placed in motion toward the Argonne 

That part of the American sector from Fresnes-en-Woevre, south- 
east of Verdun, to the western edge of the Argonne Forest, while 
nominally under my control, did not actively become a part of 
my command until September 22, on which date my headquarters 
were established at Souilly, southwest of Verdun. Of French 
troops, in addition to the Second French Colonial Corps, composed 
of 3 divisions, there was also the Seventeenth French Corps of 3 
divisions holding the front north and east of Verdun. 

33. At the moment of the opening of the Meuse-Argonne battle, 
the enemy had 10 divisions in line and 10 in reserve on the front 
between Fresnes-en-Woevre and the Argonne Forest, inclusive. He 
had undoubtedly expected a continuation of our advance toward 
Metz. Successful ruses were carried out between the Meuse Eiver 
and Luneville to deceive him as to our intentions, and French 
troops were maintained as a screen along our front until the night 
before the battle, so that the actual attack was a tactical surprise. 

34. The operations in the Meuse-Argonne battle really form a 
continuous whole, but they extended over such a long period of 
continuous fighting that they will here be considered in three phases, 
the first from September 26 to October 3, the second from October 4 
to 31, and the third from November 1 to 11. 



35. On the night of September 25, the 9 divisions to lead in the 
attack were deployed between the Meuse Eiver and the western 
edge of the Argonne Forest. On the right was the Third Corps, 
Maj. Gen. BuUard commanding, with the Thirty-third, Eightieth, 
and Fourth Divisions in line; next came the Fifth Corps, Maj. Gen. 
Cameron commanding, with the Seventy-Ninth, Thirty-seventh, and 
Ninety-first Divisions; on the left was the First Corps, Maj. Gen. 
Liggett commanding, with the Thirty-fifth, Twenty-eighth, and 
Seventy-seventh Divisions. Each corps had 1 division in reserve 
and the Army held. 3 divisions as a general reserve. About 2,700 
guns, 189 small tanks, 142 manned by Americans, and 821 airplanes, 
604 manned by Americans, were concentrated to support the attack 
of the infantry. We thus had a superiority in guns and aviation, 
and the enemy had no tanks. 

The axis of the attack was the line Montfaucon-Romagne-Buz- 
ancy, the purpose being to make the deepest penetration in the 
center, which, with the Fourth French Army advancing west of the 
Argonne, would force the enemy to evacuate that forest without 
our having to deliver a heavy attack in that difficult region. 

36. Following three hours of violent artillery fire of preparation, 
the Infantry advanced at 5.30 a. m. on September 26, accompanied 
by tanks. During the first two days of the attack, before the enemy 
was able to bring up his reserves, our troops made steady progress 
through the network of defenses. Montf aucon was held tenaciously 
by the enemy and was not captured until noon of the second day. 

By the evening of the 28th a maximum advance of 11 kilometers 
had been achieved and we had captured Baulny, Epinonville, Sept- 
sarges, and Dannevoux. The right had made a splendid advance 
into the woods south of Brieulles-sur-Meuse, but the extreme left 
was meeting strong resistance in the Argonne. The attack continued 
without interruption, meeting six new divisions which the enemy 
threw into first line before September 29. He developed a powerful 
machine gun defense supported by heavy artillery fire, and mado 
frequent counter-attacks with fresh troops, particularly on the front 
of the Twenty-eighth and Thirty-fifth Divisions. These divisions 
had taken Varennes, Cheppy, Baulny, and Charpentry, and the line 
was within 2 kilometers of Apremont. We were no longer engaged 
in a maneuver for the pinching out of a salient, but were necessarily 
committed, generally speaking, to a direct frontal attack against 
strong, hostile positions fully manned by a determined enemy. 

37. By nightfall of the 29th the First Army line was approxi- 
mately Bois de la Cote Lemont — ^Nantillois — Apremont — ^southwest 
across the Argonne. Many divisions, especially those in the center 


that, were subjected to cross-fire of artillery, had suffered heavily. 
The severe fighting, the nature of the terrain over which they at- 
tacked, and the fog and darkness sorely tried even our best divisions. 
On the night of the 29th the Thirty-seventh and Seventy-ninth Divi- 
sions were relieved by the Thirty-second and Third Divisions, respec- 
tively, and on the following night the First Division relieved the 
Thirty-fifth Division. 

38. The critical problem during the first few days of the battle 
was the restoration of communications over " no man's land." There 
were but four roads available across this deep zone, and the violent 
artillery fire of the previous period of the war had virtually de- 
stroyed them. The spongy soil and the lack of material increased 
the difficulty. But the splendid work of our engineers and pioneers 
soon made possible the movement of the troops, artillery, and sup- 
plies most needed. By the afternoon of the 27th all the divisional 
artillery, except a few batteries of heavy guns, had effected a pas- 
sage and was supporting the infantry action. 


39. At 5.30 a. m. on October 4 the general attack was renewed. 
The enemy divisions on the front from Fresnes-en-Woevre to the 
Argonne had increased from 10 in first line to 16, and included some 
of his best divisions. The fighting was desperate, and only small 
advances were realized, except by the First Division on the right of 
the First Corps. By evening of October 5 the line was approximately 
Bois de la Cote Lemont-Bois du Fays-.Gesnes-Hill 240-Fleville- 
Chehery, southwest through the Argonne. 

It was especially desirable to drive the enemy from his command- 
ing positions on the heights east of the Meuse, but it was even more 
important that we should force him to use his troops there and 
weaken his tenacious hold on positions in our immediate front. 
The further stabilization of the new St. Mihiel line permitted the 
withdrawal of certain divisions for the extension of the Meuse- 
Argonne operation to the east bank of the Meuse River. 

40. On the 7th the First Corps, with the Eighty-second Division 
added, launched a strong attack northwest toward Cornay, to draw 
attention from the movement east of the Meuse and at the same time 
outflank the German position in the Argonne. The following day 
the Seventeenth French Corps, Maj. Gen. Claudel commanding, 
initiated its attack east of the Meuse against the exact point on which 
the German armies must pivot in order to withdraw from northern 
France. The troops encountered elaborate fortifications and stub- 
bom resistance, but by nightfall had realized an advance of 6 kilo- 
meters to a line well within the Bois de Consenvoye, and including 


the villages of Beaumont and Haumont. Continuous fighting was 
maintained along our entire battle front, with especial success on 
the extreme left, where the capture of the greater part of the Argonne 
Forest was completed. The enemy contested every foot of ground 
on our front in order to make more rapid retirements farther west 
and withdraw his forces from northern France before the interrup- 
tion of his railroad communications through Sedan. 

41. We were confronted at this time by an insufficiency of re- 
placements to build up exhausted divisions. Early in October com- 
bat units required some 90,000 replacements, and not more than 
45,000 would be available before November 1 to fill the existing and 
prospective vacancies. We still had two divisions with the British 
and two with the French. A review of the situation, American and 
Allied, especially as to our own resources in men for the next two 
months, convinced me that the attack of the First Army and of 
the Allied Armies further west should be pushed to the limit. But 
if the First Army was to continue its aggressive tactics our divisions 
then with the French must be recalled, and replacements must be 
obtained by breaking up newly arrived divisions. 

In discussing the withdrawal of our divisions from the French 
with Marshal Foch and Gen. Petain, on October 10, the former 
expressed his appreciation of the fact that the First Army was 
striking the pivot of the German withdrawal, and also held the 
view that the Allied attack should continue. Gen. Petain agreed 
that the American divisions with the French were essential to us 
if we were to maintain our battle against the German pivot. The 
French were, however, straining every nerve to keep up their at- 
tacks and, before those divisions with the French had been released, 
it became necessary for us to send the Thirty-seventh and Ninety- 
first Divisions from the First Army to assist the Sixth French 
Army in Flanders. 

42. At this time the First Army was holding a front of more 
than 120 kilometers; its strength exceeded 1,000,000 men; it was 
engaged in the most desperate battle of our history, and the burden 
of command was too heavy for a single commander and staff. 
Therefore, on October 12, that portion of our front extending from 
Port-sur-Seille, east of the Moselle, to Fresnes-en-Woevre, south- 
east of Verdun, was transferred to the newly constituted Second 
Army with Lieut. Gen. Robert L. BuUard in command, under whom 
it began preparations for the extension of operations to the east in 
the direction of Briey and Metz. On October 16 the command of 
the First Army was transferred to Lieut. Gen. Hunter Liggett, and 
my advance headquarters was established at Ligny-en-Barrois, from 
which the command of the group of American Armies was exercised. 


43. Local attacks of the First Army were continued in order par- 
ticularly to adjust positions preparatory to a renewed general as- 
sault. The First and Fifth Divisions were relieved by the Forty- 
second and Eightieth Divisions, which were now fresh. An attack 
along the whole front was made on October 14. The resistance en- 
countered was stubborn, but the stronghold on Cote Dame Marie 
was captured and the Hindenburg Line was broken. Cunel and 
Komagne-sous-Montfaucon were taken and the line advanced 2 
kilometers north of Sommerance. A maximum advance of 17 kilo- 
meters had been made since September 26 and the enemy had been 
forced to throw into the fight a total of 15 reserve divisions. 

During the remainder of the month important local operations 
were carried out, which involved desperate fighting. The Find; 
Corps, Maj. Gen. Dickman commanding, advanced through Grand- 
pre; the Fifth Corps, Maj. Gen. Charles P. Summerall command- 
ing, captured the Bois de Bantheville; the Third Corps, Maj. Gen. 
John L. Hines conmianding, completed the occupation of Cunel 
Heights ; and the Seventeenth French Corps drove the enemy from 
the main ridge south of La Grande Montague. Particularly heavy 
fighting occurred east of the Meuse on October 18, and in the further 
penetration of the Kriemhilde-Stellung on October 23 the Twenty- 
sixth Division entering the battle at this time relieved the Eight- 
eenth French Division. 

44. Summarizing the material results which had been attained 
by the First Army by the end of October, we had met an increasing 
number of Germany's best divisions, rising from 20 in line and 
reserve on September 26, to 31 on October 31; the enemy's elab- 
orately prepared positions, including the Hindenburg line, in our 
front had been broken; the almost impassable Argonne Forest was 
in our hands ; an advance of 21 kilometers had been effected ; 18,600 
prisoners, 370 cannon, 1,000 machine guns, and a mass of material 
captured; and the great railway artery through Carignan to Sedan 
was now seriously threatened. 

The demands of incessant battle which had been maintained day by 
day for more than a month had compelled our divisions to fight to 
the limit of their capacity. Combat troops were held in line and 
pushed to the attack until deemed incapable of further effort because 
of casualties or exhaustion ; artillery once engaged was seldom with- 
drawn and many batteries fought until practically all the animals 
were casualties and the guns were towed out of line by motor trucks. 
The American soldier had shown unrivaled fortitude in this continu- 
ous fighting during most inclement weather and under many dis- 
advantages of position. Through experience, the Army had de- 
veloped into a powerful and smooth-running machine, and there 

160184''— H. Doc. 626, 6G-2 i 


was a supreme confidence in our ability to carry through the task 

While the high pressure of these dogged attacks was a great strain 
on our troops, it was calamitous to the enemy. His divisions had 
been thrown into confusion by our furious assaults, and his morale 
had been reduced until his will to resist had well-nigh reached the 
breaking point. Once a German division was engaged in the fight, 
it became practically impossible to effect its relief. The enemy was 
forced to meet the constantly recurring crises by breaking up tactical 
organizations and sending hurried detachments to widely separated 
portions of the field. 

Every member of the American Expeditionary Forces, from the 
front line to the base ports, was straining every nerve. Ma^ificent 
efforts were exerted by the entire Services of Supply to meet the 
enormous demands made on it. Obstacles which seemed insurmount- 
able were overcome daily in expediting the movements of replace- 
ments, ammunition and supplies to the front, and of sick and 
wounded to the rear. It was this spirit of determination animating 
every American soldier that made it impossible for the enemy to 
maintain the struggle until 1919. 


45. The detailed plans for the operations of the Allied Armies on 
the western front changed from time to time during the course of this 
great battle, but the mission of the First American Army to cut the 
great Carignan-Sedan-Mezieres Railroad remained unchanged. 
Marshal Foch coordinated the operations along the entire front, con- 
tinuing persistently and unceasingly the attacks by all Allied Armies; 
the Belgian Army, with a French Army and two American divisions, 
advancing eastward ; the British Armies and two American divisions, 
with the First French Army on their right, toward the region north 
of Givet; the First American Army and Fourth French Army, to- 
ward Sedan and Mezieres. 

46. On the 21st my instructions were issued to the First Army to 
prepare thoroughly for a general attack on October 28, that would be 
decisive if possible. In order that the attack of the First Army and 
that of the Fourth French Army on its left should be simultaneous, 
our attack was delayed until November 1. The immediate purpose 
of the First Army was to take Buzancy and the heights of Barricourt, 
to turn the forest north of Grandpre, and to establish contact with 
the Fourth French Army near Boult-aux-Bois. The Army was 
directed to carry the heights of Barricourt by nightfall of the first 
day and then to exploit this success by advancing its left to Boult- 
aux-Bois in preparation for the drive toward Sedan. By strenuous 


effort all available artillery had been moved well forward to the 
heights previously occupied by the enemy, from which it could fully 
cover and support the initial advance of the Infantry. 

On this occasion and for the first time the Army prepared for its 
attack under normal conditions. We held the front of attack and 
were not under the necessity of taking over a new front, with its 
manifold installations and services. Our own personnel handled 
the communications, dumps, telegraph lines, and water service; our 
divisions were either on the line or close in rear; the French artil- 
lery, aviation, and technical troops which had previously made up 
our deficiences had been largely replaced by our own organizations; 
and our army, corps, and divisional staffs were by actual experi- 
ence second to none. 

47. On the morning of November 1, three Army corps were in 
line between the Meuse River and the Bois de Bourgogne. On the 
right the Third Corps had the Fifth and Ninetieth Divisions; the 
Fifth Corps occupied the center of the line, with the Eighty-ninth 
and Second Divisions, and was to be the wedge of the attack on the 
first day; and on the left the First Corps deployed the Eightieth, 
Seventy-seventh, and Seventy-eighth Divisions. 

Preceded by two hours of violent artillery preparation, the Infan- 
try advanced, closely followed by " accompanying guns." The Artil- 
lery acquitted itself magnificently, the barrages being so well co- 
ordinated and so dense that the enemy was overwhelmed and quickly 
submerged by the rapid onslaught of the Infantry. By nightfall 
the Fifth Corps, in the center, had realized an advance of almost 
9 kilometers, to the Bois de la Folic, and had completed the cap- 
ture of the heights of Barricourt, while the Third Corps, on the 
right, had captured Aincreville and Andevanne. Our troops had 
broken through the enemy's last defense, captured his artillery posi- 
tions, and had precipitated a retreat of the German forces about to 
be isolated in the forest north of Grandpre. On the 2d and 3d 
we advanced rapidly against heavy fighting on the fronts of the 
right and center corps; to the left the troops of the First Corps 
hurried forward in pursuit, some by motor trucks, while the Artil- 
lery pressed along the country roads close behind. Our heavy artil- 
lery was skillfully brought into position to fire upon the Carignan- 
Sedan Railroad and the junctions at Longuyon and Conflans. By 
the evening of the 4th, our troops had reached La Neuville, opposite 
Stenay, and had swept through the great Foret de Dieulet, reach- 
ing the outskirts of Beaumont, while on the left we were 8 kilometers 
north of Boult-aux-Bois. 

The following day the advance continued toward Sedan with in- 
creasing swiftness. The Third Corps, turning eastward, crossed the 


Meuse in a brilliant operation by the Fifth Division, driving the 
enemy from the heights of Dun-sur-Meuse and forcing a general 
withdrawal from the strong positions he had so long held on the 
hills north of Verdun. 

By the 7th the right of the Third Corps had exploited its river 
crossing to a distance of 10 kilometers east of the Meuse, completely 
ejecting the enemy from the wooded heights and driving him out into 
the swampy plain of the Woevre; the Fifth and First Corps had 
reached the line of the Meuse River along their respective fronts 
and the left of the latter corps held the heights dominating Sedan, 
the strategical goal of the Meuse- Argonne operation, 41 kilometers 
from our point of departure on November 1. We had cut the enemy's 
main line of communications. Kecognizing that nothing but a ces- 
sation of hostilities could save his armies from complete disaster, he 
appealed for an immediate armistice on November 6. 

48. Meanwhile general plans had been prepared for the further em- 
ployment of American forces in an. advance between the Meuse and 
the Moselle, to be directed toward Longwy by the First Army, while 
the Second Army was to assume the offensive toward the Briey Iron 
Basin. Orders directing the preparatory local operations involved 
in this enterprise were issued on November 5. 

Between the 7th and 10th of November the Third Corps con- 
tinued its advance eastward to Remoiville, while the Seventeenth 
French Corps, on its right, with the Seventy-ninth, Twenty-sixth, 
and Eighty-first American Divisions, and 2 French divisions, drove 
the enemy from his final foothold on the heights east of the Meuse. 
At 9 p. m. on November 9 appropriate orders were sent to the First 
and Second Armies in accordance with the following telegram from 
Marshal Foch to the Commander of each of the Allied armies : 

** The enemy, disorganized by our repeated attacks, retreats along the entire 

It is important to coordinate and expedite our movements. 

I appeal to the energy and the initiative of the Commanders-in-CJhief and of 
their armies to make decisive the results obtained." 

In consequence of the foregoing instructions, our Second Army 
pressed the enemy along its entire front. On the night of the 
lOth-llth and the morning of the 11th the Fifth Corps, in the First 
Army, forced a crossing of the Meuse east of Beaumont and gained 
the commanding heights within the reentrant of the river, thus com- 
pleting our control of the Meuse Eiver line. At 6 a. m. on the 11th 
notification was received from Marshal Foch's headquarters that the 
Armistice had been signed and that hostilities would cease at 11 a. m. 
Preparatory measures had already been taken to insure the prompt 
transmission to the troops of the announcement of an Armistice. 
However, the advance east of Beaumont on the morning of the 11th 



had been so rapid and communication across the river was so difficult 
that there was some fighting on isolated portions of that front after 
11 a. m. 

49. Between September 26 and November 11, 22 American and 
4 French divisions, on: the front extending from southeast of 
Verdun to the Argonne Forest, had engaged and decisively beaten 
47 different German divisions, representing 25 per cent of the enemy's 
entire divisional strength on the western front. Of these enemy 
divisions 20 had been drawn from the French front and 1 from the 
British front. Of the 22 American divisions 12 had, at different 
times during this period, been engaged on fronts other than our own. 
The First Army suffered a loss of about 117,000 in killed and 
woimded. It captujred 26,000 prisoners, 847 cannon, 3,000 machine 
guns, and large quantities of material. 

The dispositions which the enemy made to meet the Meuse- Argonne 
offensive, both immediately before the opening of the attack and 
during the battle, demonstrated the importance which he ascribed to 
this section of the front and the extreme measures he was forced to 
take in its defense. From the moment the American offensive began 
until the Armistice, his defense was desperate and the flow of his 
divisions to our front was continuous. The rate at which German 
divisions were used up is illustrated by plate 7, which shows an in- 
crease of 27 divisions on the American front during the battle. 


50. Under the instructions issued by me on November 5, for opera- 
tions by ihe Second Army in the direction of the Briey Iron Basin, 
the advance was undertaken along the entire front of the army and 
continued during the last three days of hostilities. In the face of 
the stiff resistance offered by the enemy, and with the limited num- 
ber of troops at the disposal of the Second Army, the gains realized 
reflected great credit on the divisions concerned. On November 6 
Marshal Foch requested that 6 American divisions be held in readi- 
ness to assist in an attack which the French were preparing to 
launch in the direction of Chateau- Salins. The plan was agreed 
to, but with the provision that our troops should be employed under 
the direction of the commanding general Second Army. 

This combined attack was to be launched on November 14, and 
was to consist of 20 French divisions under Gen. Mangin and the 
6 American divisions under Gen. BuUard. Of the divisions desig- 
nated for this operation the Third, Fourth, Twenty-ninth, and 
Thirty-sixth were in Army reserve and were starting their march 
eastward on the morning of November 11, while the Twenty-eighth 
and Thirty-fifth were being withdrawn from line on the Second 
Army front. 



51. During the first phase of the Meuse-Argonne battle, American 
divisions were participating in important attacks on other portions 
of the front. The Second Army Corps, Maj. Gen. Read, command- 
ing, with the Twenty-seventh and Thirtieth Divisions on the British 
front, was assigned the task in cooperation with the Australian 
Corps, of breaking the Hindenburg line at Le Cateau, where the St. 
Quentin Canal passes through a tunnel under a ridge. In this at- 
tack, carried out on September 29 and October 1, the Thirtieth 
Division speedily broke through the main line of defense and cap- 
tured all of its objectives, while the Twenty-seventh progressed until 
some of its elements reached Gouy. In this and later actions from 
October 6 to 19, our Second Corps captured over 6,000 prisoners and 
advanced about 24 kilometers. 

52. On October 2-9 our Second and Thirty-sixth Divisions assisted 
the Fourth French Army in its advance between Rheims and the 
Argonne. The Second Division completed its advance on this front 
by the assault of the wooded heights of Mont Blanc, the key point 
of the German position, which was captured with consununate dash 
and skill. The division here repulsed violent counterattacks, and 
then carried our lines into the village of St. Etienne, thus forcing the 
Germans to fall back before Eheims and yield positions which they 
had held since September, 1914. On October 10 the Thirty-sixth 
Division relieved the Second, exploiting the latter's success, and in 
two days advanced, with the French, a distance of 21 kilometers, the 
enemy retiring behind the Aisne River. 

53. In the middle of October, while we were heavily engaged in 
the Meuse-Argonne, Marshal Foch requested that 2 American divi- 
sions be sent immediately to assist the Sixth French Army in Bel- 
gium, where slow progress was being made. The Thirty-seventh and 
Ninety-first Divisions, the latter being accompanied by the Artillery 
of the Twenty-eighth Division, were hurriedly dispatched to the Bel- 
gian front. On October 30, in continuation of the Flanders offensive, 
these divisions entered the line and attacked. By November 3 the 
Thirty-seventh Division had completed its mission by rapidly driving 
the enemy across the Escaut River and had firmly established itself 
on the east bank, while the Ninety-first Division, in a spirited ad- 
vance, captured Spitaals Bosschen, reached the Scheldt, and entered 


64. The Italian Government early made request for American 
troops, but the critical situation on the western front made it neces- 
sary to concentrate our efforts there. When the Secretary of War 

--^ J. 

ukal bepobt of gbk. john j. pershing. 55 

was in Italy during April, 1918, he was urged to send American 
troops to Italy to show America's interest in the Italian situation and 
to strengthen Italian morale. Similarly a request was made by 
the Italian Prime Minister at the Abbeville conference. It was 
finally decided to send one regiment to Italy with the necessary 
hospital and auxiliary services, and the Three hundred and thirty- 
second Infantry was selected, reaching the Italian front in July, 

1918. These troops participated in action against the Austrians in 
the fall of 1918 at the crossing of the Piave Biver and in the final 
pursuit of the Austrian Army. 


55. It was the opinion of the Supreme War Council that Allied 
troops should be sent to cooperate with the Russians, either at Mur- 
mansk or Archangel, against the Bolshevist forces, and the British 
Government, through its ambassador at Washington, urged Ameri- 
can participation in this undertaking. On July 23, 1918, the War 
Department directed the dispatch of three battalions of Infantry and 
three companies of Engineers to join the Allied expedition. In 
compliance with these instructions the Three hundred and thirty- 
ninth Infantry, the First Battalion, Three hundred and tenth Engi- 
neers, Three hundred and thirty-seventh Field Hospital Company, 
and Three hundred and thirty-seventh Ambulance Company were 
sent through England, whence they sailed on August 26. 

The mission of these troops was limited to guarding the ports 
and as much of the surrounding country as might develop threaten- 
ing conditions. The Allied force operated under British command, 
through whose orders the small American contingent was spread 
over a front of about 450 miles. From September, 1918, to May, 

1919, a series of minor engagements with the Bolshevist forces oc- 
curred, in which 82 Americans were killed and 7 died of wounds. 

In April, 1919, two companies of American railroad troops were 
added to our contingent. The withdrawal of the American force 
commenced in the latter part of May, 1919, and on August 25 there 
was left only a small detachment of Graves Registration troops. 


56. In accordance with the terms of the Armistice, the Allies were 
to occupy all German territory west of the Rhine, with bridgeheads 
of 30 kilometer radius at Cologne, Coblenz, and Mayence. The zone 
assigned the American command was the bridgehead of Coblenz 
and the district of Treves. This territory was to be occupied by an 
American Army, with its reserves held between the Moselle-Meuse 
Bivers and the Luxemburg frontier. 


The instructions of Marshal Foch, issued on November 16, con- 
templated that 2 French infantry divisions and 1 French cav- 
alry division would be added to the American forces that occupied 
the Coblenz bridgehead, and that 1 American division would be 
added to the French force occupying the Mayence bridgehead. As 
this arrangement presented possibilities of misunderstanding due to 
difference of views regarding the government of occupied territory, 
it was represented to the Marshal that each nation should be given 
a well-defined territory of occupation, employing within such terri- 
tory only the troops of the commander responsible for the particu- 
lar zone. On December 9 Marshal Foch accepted the principle of 
preserving the entity of command and troops, but reduced the 
American bridgehead by adding a portion of the eastern half to 
the French conlmand at Mayence. 

57. Various reasons made it undesirable to employ either the First 
or Second Army as the Army of Occupation. Plans had been made 
before the Armistice to organize a Third Army and, on November 14, 
this army, with Maj. Gen. Joseph T. Dickman as commander, was 
designated as the Army of Occupation. The Third and Fourth 
Army Corps staffs and troops, less artillery, the First, Second, Third, 
Fourth, Thirty-second, and Forty-second Divisions, and the Sixty- 
sixth Field Artillery Brigade were assigned to the Third Army. 
This force was later increased by the addition of the Seventh Corps, 
Maj. Gen. William M. Wright commanding, with the Fifth, Eighty- 
ninth, and Ninetieth Divisions. 

The advance toward German territory began on November 17 at 
5 a. m., six days after signing the Armistice. All of the allied forces 
from the North Sea to the Swiss border moved forward simultane- 
ously in the wake of the retreating German armies. Upon ar- 
rival at the frontier, a halt was made until December 1, when the 
leading elements of all Allied armies crossed the line into Germany. 
The Third Army Headquarters were established at Coblenz and an 
Advance General Headquarters located at Treves. Steps were im- 
mediately taken to organize the bridgehead for defense, and dispo- 
sitions were made to meet a possible renewal of hostilities. 

The advance to the Rhine required long arduous marches, through 
cold and inclement weather, with no opportunity for troops to rest, 
refit, and refresh themselves after their participation in the final bat- 
tle. The Army of Occupation bore itself splendidly and exhibited a 
fine state of discipline both during the advance and throughout the 
period of occupation. 

58. The zone of march of our troops into Germany and the line of 
communications of the Third Army after reaching the Rhine lay 
through Luxemburg. After the passage of the Third Army, the oc- 
cupation of Luxemburg, for the purpose of guarding our line of 


communications, was intrusted to the Fifth and Thirty-third Divi- 
sions of the Second Army. The city of Luxemburg, garrisoned by 
French troops and designated as the headquarters of the Allied Com- 
mander-in-Chief, was excluded from our control. 

Upon entering the Duchy of Luxemburg in the advance, a policy 
of noninterference in the affairs of the Grand Duchy was announced. 
Therefore, when the French commander in the city of Luxemburg 
was given charge of all troops in the Duchy, in so far as concerned 
the "administration of the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg," my in- 
structions were that our troops would not be subject to his control. 
Later, at my request, and in order to avoid possible friction, Marshal 
Foch placed the entire Duchy in the American Zone. 


59. On the day the Armistice was signed, the problem of the return 
of our troops to the United States was taken up with the War De- 
partment and, on November 15, a policy recommended of sending 
home certain auxiliaries so that we could begin to utilize all available 
shipping without delay. On December 21 the War Department an- 
nounced by cable that it had been decided to begin immediately the 
return of our forces and continue as rapidly as transportation would 
permit. To carry this out, a schedule for the constant flow of troops 
to the ports was established, having in mind our international obli- 
gations pending the signing of the treaty of peace. 

60. While more intimately related to the functions of the Services 
of Supply than to Operations, it is logical to introduce here a brief 
recital of the organizations created for the return of our troops to 
America. Prior to the Armistice but 15,000 men had been returned 
home. Although the existing organization was built for the efficient 
and rapid handling of the incoming forces, the embarkation of this 
small niunber presented no difficulties. But the Armistice suddenly 
and completely reversed the problem of the Services of Supply at 
the ports and the handling of troops. It became necessary immedi- 
ately to reorganize the machinery of the ports, to construct large 
embarkation camps, and to create an extensive service for embark- 
ing the homeward-bound troops. 

Brest, St. Nazaire, and Bordeaux became the principal embarka- 
tion ports, Marseilles and Le Havre being added later to utilize 
Italian and French liners. The construction of the embarkation 
camps during unseasonable winter weather was the most trying prob- 
lem. These, with the billeting facilities available, gave accommoda- 
tion for 55,000 at Brest, 44,000 at St. Nazaire, and 130,000 at Bor- 
deaux. Unfortunately, the largest ships had to be handled at Brest, 
wkere the least shelter was available. 


To maintain a suitable reservoir of men for Brest and St. Nazaire, 
an Embarkation Center was organized around Le Mans, whicli 
eventually accommodated 230,000 men. Here the troops and their 
records were prepared for the return voyage and immediate demobili- 
zation. As the troops arrived at the base ports, the embarkation 
service was charged with feeding, reclothing, and equipping the hun- 
dreds of thousands who passed through, which required the main- 
tenance of a form of hotel service on a scale not hitherto attempted. 

61. On November 16 all combat troops, except 30 divisions and a 
minimum of corps and army troops, were released for return to the 
United States. It was early evident that only limited use would be 
made of the American divisions, and that the retention of 30 divisions 
was not necessary. Marshal Foch considered it indispensable to 
maintain under arms a total, including Italians, of 120 to 140 divi- 
sions, and he proposed that we maintain 30 divisions in France until 
February 1, 25 of which should be held in the Zone of the Armies, 
and that on March 1 we should have 20 divisions in the Zone of the 
Armies and 5 ready to embark. The plan for March 1 was satis- 
factory, but the restrictions as to the divisions that should be in 
France on February 1 could not be accepted, as it would seriously 
interfere with the flow of troops homeward. 

In a communication dated December 24 the Marshal set forth the 
minimum forces to be furnished by the several Allies, requesting 
the American Army to furnish 22 to 25 divisions of Infantry. In 
the same note he estimated the force to be maintained after the 
signing of the preluninaries of peace at about 32 divisions, of which 
the American Army was to furnish 6. 

In reply it was pointed out that our problem of repatriation of 
troops and their demobilization was quite different from that of 
France or Great Britain. On account of our long line of communi- 
cations in France and the time consumed by the ocean voyage and 
travel in the United States, even with the maximum employment of 
our then available transportation, at least a year must elapse before 
we could complete our demobilization. Therefore, it was proposed 
by me that the number of American combat divisions to be main- 
tained in the Zone of the Armies should be reduced on April 1 to 15 
divisions and on May 1 to 10 divisions, and that in the unexpected 
event that the preliminaries of peace should not be signed by May 1 
we would continue to maintain 10 divisions in the Zone of the Armies 
until the date of signature. 

The Allied Commander-in-Chief later revised his estimate, and| on 
January 24, stated to the Supreme War Council that the Gerrian 
demobilization would permit the reduction of the Allied forces to 
100 divisions, of which the Americans were requested to furnish % 
In reply, it was again pointed out that our problem was entirely oie 


of transportation, and that such a promise was unnecessary inas- 
much as it would probably be the summer of 1919 before we could 
reduce our forces below the number asked. We were, therefore, able 
to keep our available ships filled, and by May 19 all combat divisions, 
except 5 still in the Army of Occupation, were under orders to pro- 
ceed to ports of embarkation. This provided sufficient troops to 
utilize all troop transports to include July 15. 

62. The President had informed me that it would be necessary for 
us to have at least one regiment in occupied Germany, and left the 
details to be discussed by me with Marshal Foch. My cable of July 1 
summarizes the agreement reached: 

" By direction of Presid'ent, I have discussed with Marshal Foch question of 
forces to be left on the Rhine. Following agreed upon : The Fourtii and Fifth 
Divisions wiU be sent to base ports immediately, the Second Division will com- 
mence moving to base ports on July 15, and the Third Division on August 15. 
Date of relief of First Division will be decided later. Agreement contemplates 
that after compliance by Germany with military conditions to be completed 
within first three months after German ratification of treaty, American force 
will be reduced to one regiment of Infantry and certain auxiliaries. Request 
President be informed of agreement." 

As a result of a later conference with Marshal Foch, the Third 
Division was released on August 3 and the First Division on Au- 
gust 15. 

PAET in. 

Supply, Cooedination, Munitions, and 


THE services OF SUPPLY. 


PuBCHASiNO Agency. Quabtebmasteb Corps. 

Ocean Tonnage. Signal Cobps. 

Replacements of Personnel. Motor Transport Corps. 

Remounts. Renting, Requisition, and Claims 

Reclassification of Personnisl. Servigb. 

Construction by Engineer Corps. 


Ordnance. Tanks. 

Aviation. Chemical Warfarx. 


Medical and Sanitary Conditions. Military Justice. 

Records, Personnel, AND Mail Service. Provost Marshal General's Depart^ 

Inspections — Discipline. ment. 





1. In February, 1918, the Line of Communications was reorganized 
under the name of the Services of Supply. At that time all staff 
services and departments, except The Adjutant General's, the In- 
spector General's, and the Judge Advocate General's Departments, 
were grouped for supply purposes under one coordinating head, 
the Commanding General, Services of Supply, with a General Staff 
paralleling, so far as necessary, the General Staff at General Head- 

The principal functions of the Services of Supply were the pro- 
curement, storage, and transportation of supplies. These activities 
were controlled in a general way by the commanding general 
Services of Supply, the maximum degree of independence being per- 
mitted to the several services. This great organization was charged 
with immense projects in connection with roads, docks, railroads, 
and buildings; the transportation of men, animals, and supplies by 
sea, rail, and inland waterways; the operation of telegraph and tele- 
phone systems; the control and transportation of replacements; the 
hospitalization necessary for an army of 2,000,000 men ; the reclassi- 
fication of numerous oflScers and men; the establishment of leave 
areas and of welfare and entertainment projects; the liquidation of 
our affairs in France; and the final embarkation of our troops for 

The growth of the permanent port personnel, the location near 
the base ports of certain units for training, and other considerations 
led to the appointment of a territorial commander for the section 
around each port who, while acting as the representative of the com- 
manding general Services of Supply, was given the local authority 
of a district commander. For similar reasons, an Intermediate Sec- 
tion Commander and an Advance Section Commander were ap- 
pointed. Eventually there were nine base sections, including one in 
England, one in Italy, and one comprising Rotterdam and Antwerp, 
also one intermediate and one advance section.^ 

^ See plate Nc. 8. 



The increasing participation of the American Expeditionary 
Forces in active operations necessitated the enlargement of the re- 
sponsibilities and authority of 'the commanding general Services of 
Supply. In August, 1918, he was charged with complete responsi- 
bility for all supply matters in the Services of Supply, and was au- 
thorized to correspond by cable directly with the War Department 
on all matters of supply not involving questions of policy. 

In the following discussion of the Services of Supply the subjects 
of coordination of supply at the front, ocean tonnage, and replace- 
ments are included for convenience, though they were largely or 
entirely under the direct control of General-Staff Sections at my 


2. Our successful participation in the war required that all the 
different services immediately concerned with the supply of combat 
troops should work together as a well-regulated machine. In other 
words, there must be no duplication of effort, but each must perform 
its functions without interference with any other service. The 
Fourth Section of the General Staff was created to control impartially 
all these services, and, under broad lines of policy, to determine ques- 
tions of transportation and supply in France and coordinate our 
supply services with those of the Allies. 

This section did not work out technical details but was charged 
with having a general knowledge of existing conditions as to sup- 
ply, its transportation, and of construction affecting our operations 
or the efficiency of our forces. It frequently happened that several 
of the supply departments desired the same site for the location of 
installations, so that all plans for such facilities had to be decided in 
accordance with the best interests of the whole. 

3. In front of the advance depots, railroad lines and shipments to 
troops had to be carefully controlled, because mobility demanded 
that combat units should not be burdened with a single day's stores 
above the authorized standard reserve. Furthermore, accumulations 
at the front were exposed to the danger of destruction or capture and 
might indicate our intentions. Each combat division required the 
equivalent of 25 French railway car loads of supplies for its daily 
consumption to be delivered at a point within reach of motor or 
horse-drawn transportation. The regular and prompt receipt of 
supplies by combatant troops is of first importance in its effect upon 
the morale of both officers and men. The officer whose mind is pre- 
occupied by the question of food, clothing, or ammunition, is not 
free to devote his energy to training his men or to fighting the 
enemy. It is necessary that paper work be reduced to an absolute 


minimum and that the delivery of supplies to organizations be 
placed on an automatic basis as far as possible. 

4. The principle of flexibility had to be borne in mind in planning 
our supply system in order that our forces should be supplied, no 
matter what their number, or where they might be called upon to 
enter the line. This high degree of elasticity and adaptability was 
assured and maintained through the medium of the regulating sta- 
tion. It was the connecting link between the armies and the services 
in the rear, and regulated the railroad transportation which tied 
them together. The regulating officer at each such station was a 
member of the Fourth Section of my General Staff, acting under in- 
structions from his chief of section. 

Upon the regulating officer fell the responsibility that a steady 
flow of supply was maintained. He must meet emergency shipmente 
of ammunition or engineering material, sudden transfers of troops 
by rail, the hastening forward of replacements, or the unexpected 
evacuation of wounded. All the supply services naturally clamored 
to have their shipments rushed through. The regulating officer, act- 
ing under special or secret instructions, must declare priorities in 
the supply of things the Army needed most. Always informed of 
the conditions at the front, of the status of supplies, and of military 
plans and intentions, nothing could be shipped to the regulating sta- 
tion or in front of the advance depots except on his orders. The 
chiefs of supply services fulfilled their responsibilities when they 
delivered to the regulating officer the supplies called for by him, 
and he met his obligation when these supplies were delivered at the 
proper railheads at the time they were needed. The evacuatiofn of 
the wounded was effected over the same railroad lines as those ottrry^ 
ing supplies to the front, therefore, this control had also to be cen- 
tralized in the regulating officer. 

The convenient location of the regulating stations was of prime 
importance. They had to be close enough to all points in their zones 
to permit trains leaving after dusk or during the night to arrive at 
their destinations by dawn. They must also be far enough to the 
rear to be reasonably safe from capture. Only two regulating sta 
tions were actually constructed by us in France, Is-sur-Tille and 
Liffol-le-Grand, as the existing French facilities were sufficient to 
meet our requirements beyond the reach of those stations. 

As far as the regulating officer was concerned, supplies were di- 
vided into four main classes. The first class constituted food, forage 
and fuel, needed and consumed every day; the second, uniforms, 
shoes, blankets and horse shoes, which wear out with reasonable 
regularity; the third, articles of equipment which require replace- 
ment at irregular intervals, such as rolling kitchens, rifles and escort 

160184^--H. Doe. 626, 66-2 5 


wagons; the fourth class covered articles, the flow of which de- 
pended upon tactical operations, such as ammunition and construction 
materiaL Articles in the first class were placed on an automatic 
basis, but formal requisition was eliminated as far as possible for 
all classes. 

5. In order to meet many of the immediate needs of troops com- 
ing out of the line and to relieve to some extent the great strain on 
the railheads during active fighting, a system of army depots was 
organized. These depots were supplied by bulk shipments from 
the advance depots through the regulating stations during rela- 
tively quiet periods, They were under the control of the chiefs of 
the supply services of the armies and required practically no con- 
struction work, the supplies being stored in open places protected 
only by dunnage and camouflaged tarpaulins. 

6. The accompanying diagram * illustrates graphically the supply 
system which supported our armies in France. The Services of 
Supply can be likened to a great reservoir divided into three main 
parts — ^the base depots, the intermediate depots and the advance 
depots. The management of this reservoir is in charge of the com- 
manding general, Services of Supply, who administers it with a 
free hand, controlled only by general policies outlined to him from 
time to- time. Each of the supply and technical services functions 
independently in its own respective sphere; each has its share of 
storage space in the base depots, in the intermediate depots, and in 
the advance depots. Then comes the distribution system, and here 
the control passes to the chief of the Fourth Section of the General 

Staff, who exercises his po\vers through the regulating stations. 



7. The consideration of requirements in food and material led to 
the adoption of an automatic supply system, but, with the exception 
of foodstuffs, there was an actual shortage, especially in the early 
part of the war, of many things, such as equipment pertaining to 
land transportation and equipment and material for combat. The 
lack of ocean tonnage to carry construction material and animals at 
the beginning was serious. Although an increasing amount of ship- 
ping became available as the war progressed, at no time was there 
sufficient for our requirements. The tonnage from the States reached 
about seven and one-half milli'on tons to December 31, 1918, which 
was a little less than one-half of the total amount obtained. 

The supply situation made it imperative that we utilize European 
resources as far as possible for the purchase of material and supplies. 
If our Services of Supply departments had entered the market of 

* See plate No. 6. 



Europe as purchasers without regulation or coordination, they 
would have been thrown into competition with each other, as well as 
with buyers from the Allied armies and the civil populations. Such 
a system would have created an unnatural elevation of prices, and 
would have actually obstructed the procurement of supplies. To 
meet this problem from the standpoint of economical business man- 
agement, directions were given in August, 1917, for the creation of a 
General Purchasing Board to coordinate and control our purchases 
both among our own services and among the Allies as well. The 
supervision and direction of this agency was placed in the hands of 
an experienced business man, and every supply department in the 
American Expeditionary Forces was represented on the board. 
Agents were stationed in Switzerland, Spain, and Holland, besides 
the Allied countries. The character of supplies included practically 
the entire category of necessities, although the bulk of our purchases 
consisted of raw materials for construction, ordnance, air equipment, 
and animals. A total of about 10,000,000 tons was purchased abroad 
by this agency to December 31, 1918, most of which was obtained in 

The functions of the Purchasing Agency were gradually extended 
until they included a wide field of activities. In addition to the co- 
ordination of purchases, the supply resources of our Allies were recon- 
noitered and intimate touch was secured with foreign agencies; a 
Statistical Bureau was created which classified and analyzed our re- 
quirements; quarterly forecasts of supplies were issued; civilian 
manual labor was procured and organized ; a Technical Board under- 
took the coordination, development, and utilization of the electric 
power facilities in France; a Bureau of Reciprocal Supplies viseed 
the claims of foreign governments for raw materials from the United 
States ; and a general printing plant was established. Some of these 
activities were later transferred to other services as the latter became 
ready to undertake their control. 

The principles upon which the usefulness of this agency depended 
were extended to our Allies, and in the summer of 1918 the General 
Purchasing Agejit became a member of the Interallied Board of 
Supplies. This Board undertook, with signal success, to coordinate 
the supply of the Allied armies in all those classes of material neces- 
sities that were in common use in all the armies. The possibility of 
immense savings were fully demonstrated, but the principles had not 
become of general application before the Armistice, 


8. Following a study of tonnage requirements, an officer was sent 
to Washington in December, 1917, with a general statement of the 
shipping situation in France as understood by the Allied Maritime 


CounciL In March, 1918, tonnage requirements for transpoii^ and 
maintenance of 900,000 men in France by June 80 were adopted as a 
basis upon whidi to calculate supply requisitions and the allocation 
of tonnage. 

In April the Allied Maritime Transp<M't Council showed that re- 
quirements for 1918 greatly exceeded the available tonnage. Fur- 
ther revisions of the schedule were required by the Abbeville Agree- 
ment in May, under which American infantry and machine-gun 
units were to be transported in British shipping, and by the Ver- 
sailles Agreement in June. 

In July, a serious crisis developed as the allotm^it for August 
made the American Expeditionary Forces by the Shipping Control 
Committee was only 575,000 dead-weight tons, afterwards inci^eased 
to 700,000, whereas 803,000 tons (not including animals) were actu- 
ally needed. It was strongly urged by me that more shipping be 
diverted from trades and that a larger percentage of new shipping 
be placed in transport service. 

9. Early in 1918, a scheme had been proposed which would pro- 
vide priority for essential supplies only, based upon monthly avail- 
able tonnage in sight. Although it was the understanding that calls 
for shipping should be based upon our actual needs, much irregu- 
larity was found in tonnage allotments, as shown by the following 
cables sent September 14, 1918, 

** The following variations from cable orders are noticeable : 

Q. M. supplies cabled for, for August deUvery, 182^7 short tona 

Q. M. supplies actually received during August, 231,850 .^hort tons. 

T. D. supplies (rolling stock, etc.) called for, for August delivery, 113,482 

short tons, 
T. D. supplies actually received during August, 67,521 short t<His." 
** You must prepare to ship supplies we request, Instead of shippins excessive 
amounts of supplies of which we have a due pr<^x>rtlon." 

"An Increase in the allotment of tonnage must be made, even for September. 
It is Imperative. I can not too strongly urge that the allotment be recon- 
sidered in the light of the above showing of our deficiencies. ♦ * * " "At 
the present time our ability to supply and maneuver our forces depwids 
largely on motor transportation * ♦ *. We are able to carry out present 
plans due to feet that we have been able to borrow temporarily large num- 
bers of trucks aiid ambulances from the French * * ♦. The shortage of 
ambulances to move our wounded is critical * * *. We have reached the 
point where we can no longer improvise or borrow. The most Important 
plans and operations depend upon certainty that the home Government will 
ileliver at French ports material and equipment cabled Cor. It is urged 
that foregoing be given most serious condderation and tliat tonnage allotted 
for supply of Army in France^ be sufficient to deliver material and equipment, 
properly proportioned in kinds and amount, to meet the needs of our 

troops * * *." 

The following is a brief summary of the tonnage asked for and the amount 
actually received in France during the critical period from July to October, 








Cabled for 
by Ameri- 
can Ex- 

1 480, 891 




in France 







1 Tons of 2,000 pounds. 





10. Under the original organization project there were to be two 
divisions in each corps of six divisions which were to be used as 
reservoirs of replacements. One half of the Artillery and other 
auxiliaries of these two divisions were to be utilized as corps and 
army troops. They were to supply the first demands for replace- 
ments from their original strength, after which a minimum of 3,000 
men per month for each army corps in France was to be forwarded 
to them from the United States. It was estimated that this would 
give a sufficient reservoir of personnel to maintain the fighting 
strength of combat units, provided the sick and wounded were 
promptly returned to their own units upon recovery. 

The Thirty-second and Forty-first Divisions were the first to be 
designated as replacement and depot divisions of the First Army 
Corps, but the situation soon became such that the Thirty-second 
Division had to be employed as a combat division. For the same 
reason all succeeding divisions had to be trained for combat, until 
June 27, when the need for replacements made it necessary to 
designate the Eighty-third as a depot division. 

ir. By the middle of August we faced a serious shortage of re- 
placements. Divisions had arrived in France below strength, and 
each division diverted from replacement to combat duty increased 
the number of divisions to be supplied and at the same time de- 
creased the supply. 

On August 16 the War Department was cabled, as follows : 

"Attention is especlaUy invited to the very great shortage in arrivals of re- 
placements heretofore requested. Situation with reference to replacements is 
now very acute. Until sufficient replacements are available in France to keep 
our proven divisions at full strength, replacements should by all means be sent 
in preference to new divisions." 

At this time it became necessary to transfer 2,000 men from each 
of three combat divisions (the Seventh, Thirty-sixth, and Eighty- 
first) to the First Army, in preparation for the St. Mihiel offensive. 

By the time the Meuse-Argonne offensive was initiated the replace- 
ment situation had become still more acute. The Infantry and Ma- 


chine gun units of the Eighty-fourth and Eighty-sixth Divisions, 
then in the vicinity of Bordeaux, were utilized as replacements, leav- 
ing only a cadre of two officers and twenty-five men for each company. 
To provide immediate replacements during the progress of the bat- 
tles new replacement organizations were formed in the Zone of 
Operations ; at first, as battalions, and later, as regional replacement 
depots. • 

12. On October 8, a cable was sent the War Department, reading 
as follows: 

" Over 50,000 of the replacem^its requested for the months of July, August, 
and September have not yet arrived. Due to extreme seriousness of the re- 
placement situation, it Is necessary to utilize persomiel of the Eighty-fourth and 
Eighty-sixth Divisions for r^lacement purposea Combat divisions are short 
over 80,000 men. Vitally important that all replacements due, including 55,000 
requested for October, be shipped early in October. If necessary, some divisions 
in United States should be stripped of trained men and such men shipped as 
replacements at <mce.'* 

Altogether seven divisions had to be skeletonized, leaving only one 
man per company and one officer per regiment to care for the records. 
As a further measure to meet the situation, the authorized strength 
of divisions was reduced in October by 4,000 men, thus lowering the 
strength of each Infantry company to approximately 174 men. The 
30 combat divisions in France at that time needed 103,613 Infantry 
and machine-gun replacements, and only 66,490 were available. 

Attention of the War Department was invited on November 2 to 
the fact that a total of 140,000 replacements would be due by the end 
of November, and the cable closed by saying: 

** To send over entire divisions, which must be broken up on their arrival in 
France so we may obtain replacements that have not been sent as called for, is 
a wasteful method, and one that makes for inefficiency ; but as replacements are 
not otherwise available, there is no other course open to us. New and otnly 
partially trained divisions can not take the place of older divisions that have 
had battle experience. The latter must be kept up numerically to the point of 
efficioicy ♦ ♦ *." 


13. The shortage of animals was a serious problem throughout the 
war. In July, 1917, the French agreed to furnish our forces with 
7,000 animals a month, and accordingly the War Department was 
requested to discontinue shipments. On August 24, however, the 
French advised us that it would be impossible to furnish the number 
of animals originally stated, and Washington was again asked to 
supply animals, but none could be sent over until November, and then 
only a limited number. 

Early in 1918, after personal intervention and much delay, the 
French Government made requisition on the country, and we were 


able to obtain 50,000 animals. After many difficulties, the Purchasing 
Board was successful in obtaining permission, in the summer of 
1918, to export animals from Spain, but practically no animals were 
received until after the Armistice. 

Every effort was made to reduce animal requirements — ^by in- 
creased motorization of artillery and by requiring mounted officers 
and men to walk — ^but in spite of all these efforts, the situation as 
to animals grew steadily worse. The shortage by November exceeded 
106,000, or almost one-half of all our needs. To relieve the crisis in 
this regard, during the Meuse-Argonne battle. Marshal Foch requisi- 
tioned 13,000 animals from the French Armies and placed them at 
my disposal. 


14. An important development in the Services of Supply was the 
reclassification system for officers and men. This involved not only 
the physical reclassification of those partially fit for duty, but also the 
reclassification of officers according to fitness for special duties. A 
number of officers were found unfit for combat duty, and many in 
noncombatant positions were found unsuited to the duties on which 
employed. An effort was made to reassign these officers to the advan- 
tage of themselves and the Army. A total of 1,101 officers were 
reclassified in addition to the disabled, and 270 were sent before effi- 
ciency boards for elimination. 962 wounded or otherwise disabled 
officers were reclassified, their services being utilized to release officers 
on duty with the Services of Supply who were able to serve with 
combat units. 


15. Among the most notable achievements of the American Expe- 
ditionary Forces was the large program of construction carried out 
by our Engineer troops in the Services of Supply and elsewhere. The 
chief projects were port facilities including docks, railroads, ware- 
houses, hospitals, barracks, and stables. These were planned to pro- 
vide ultimately for an army of 4,000,000 men, the construction being 
carried on coincident with the growth of the American Expeditionary 

The port plans contemplated 160 new berths, including the neces- 
sary facilities for discharge of cargo, approximately one-half of 
which were completed at the time of the Armistice. Construction of 
new standard-gauge railroad track amounted to 1,002 miles, consist- 
ing mainly of cut-offs, double tracking at congested points, and 
yards at ports and depots. Road construction and repair continued 
until our troops were withdrawn from the several areas, employing 


at times upward of 10,000 men, and often using 90,000 tons of stone 
per week. 

Storage requirements necessitated large supply depots at the ports 
and in the intermediate and advance sections. Over 2,000,000 square 
feet of covered storage was secured from the French, but it was 
necessary to construct approximately 20,000,000 square feet addi- 
tional. The base hospital centers at Mars and Mesves, each with 
4,000-bed convalescent camps, are typical of the large scale upon 
which hospital accommodations were provided. The hospital city 
at Mars, of 700 buildings, covered a ground space of 33 acres and in- 
cluded the usual road, water, sewerage, and lighting facilities of a 

16. Advantages of economy and increased mobility caused the 
adoption of the system of billeting troops. Billeting areas were 
chosen near the base ports, along the line of communications, and in 
the advanced zone, as strategical requirements dictated. The system 
was not altogether satisfactory, but with the number of troops to be 
accommodated no other plan wa& practicable. Demountable barracks 
were use'^ for shelter to supplement lack of billets, 16,000 barracla 
of this type being erected, particularly at base ports where large 
camps were necessary. Stables at remount stations were built for 
43,000 animals. Other construction included refrigerating plants, 
such as the one at Gievres with a capacity of 6,500 tons of meat and 
500 tons of ice per day ; and mechanical bakeries like that at Is-sur- 
Tille with capacity of 800,000 pounds of bread per day. If the 
buildings constructed were consolidated, with the width of a standard 
barrack, they would reach from St. Nazaire across France to the 
Elbe Eiver in Germany, a distance of 730 miles. 

In connection with construction work, the Engineer Corps engaged 
in extensive forestry operations, producing 200,000,000 feet of lum- 
ber, 4,000,000 railroad ties, 300,000 cords of fuel wood, 35,000 pieces 
of piling, and large quantities of miscellaneous products. 


17. The Transportation Corps as a separate organization was new 
to our Army. Its exact relation to the supply departments was con- 
ceived to be that of a system acting as a common carrier operating 
its own ship and rail terminals. The equipment and operation of 
port terminals stands out as a most remarkable achievement. The 
amount of tonnage handled at all French ports grew slowly, reaching 
about 17,000 tons daily at the end of July, 1918. An emergency then 
developed as a result of the critical military situation, and the capac- 
ity of our terminals was so efficiently increased that, by November 
11, 45,000 tons were being handled daily. 


The French railroads, both in management and material, had 
dangerously deteriorated during the war. As our system was 'super- 
imposed upon that of the French it was necessary to provide them 
with additional personnel and much materiel. Experienced Ameri- 
can railroad men brought into our organization, in various practical 
capacities, the best talent in the country, who, in addition to the 
management of our own transportation, materially aided the French. 
The relation of our Transportation Corps to the French railroads 
and to our own supply departments presented many difficulties, but 
these were eventually overcome and a high state of efficiency estab- 

18. It was early decided, as expedient for our purposes, to use 
American rolling stock on the French railroads, and approximately 
20,000 cars and 1,500 standard-gauge locomotives were brought from 
the United States and assembled by our railroad troops. We assisted 
the French by repairing with our own personnel 67,385 French cars^ 
and 1,947 French locomotives. The lack of rolling stock for Allied 
use was at all times a serious handicap, so that the number of cars 
and locomotives built and repaired by us was no small part of our 
contribution to the Allied cause. 


19. The Quartermaster Corps was able to provide a larger ton- 
nage of supplies from the States than any of the great supply 
departments. The operations of this corps were so large and the 
activities so numerous that they can best be understood by a study 
of the report of the commanding general Services of Supply. ; 

The Quartermaster Corps in France was called upon to meet con- 
ditions never before presented, and it was found advisable to give 
it relief. Transportation problems by sea transport and by rail 
were handled by separate corps organized for that purpose, and 
already described. Motor transport was also placed under an organi- 
zation of its own. The usual routine supplies furnished by this de- 
partment reached enormous proportions. Except for the delay early 
in 1918 in obtaining clothing and the inferior quality of some that 
was furnished, and an occasional shortage in forage, no army was 
ever better provided for. Special services created under the Quarter- 
master Corps included a Eemount Service, which received, cared 
for, and supplied animals to troops; a Veterinary Service, work- 
ing in conjunction with the remount organization; an Effects Sec- 
tion and Baggage Service; and a Salvage Service for the recovery 
and preparation for reissue of every possible article of personal equip- 
ment. Due to the activities of the Salvage Service, an estimated 
saving of $85,000,000 was realized, tonnage and raw material were 


conserved, and what in former wars represented a distinct liability 
was tulmed into a valuable asset. 

The Graves Registration Service,- also under the Quartermaster 
Corps, was charged with the acquisition and care of cemeteries, 
the identification and reburial of our dead, and the correspondence 
with relatives of the deceased. Central cemeteries were organized 
on the American battle fields, the largest being at Komagne-sous- 
Montfaucon and at Thiaueourt in the Woevre. All territory over 
which our troops fought was examined by this service, and, generally 
speaking, the remains of our dead were assembled in American cem- 
eteries and the graves marked with a cross or six-pointed star and 
photographed. A few bodies were buried where they fell or in 
neighboring French or British cemeteries. Wherever the soldier 
was buried, his identification tag, giving his name and Army serial 
number, was fastened to the marker. A careful record was kept of 
the location of each grave. 


20. The Signal Corps supplied, installed, and operated the gen- 
eral service of telephone and telegraphic communications through- 
out the Zone of the Armies, and from there to the rear areas. At 
the front it handled radio, press, and intercept stations; provided a 
radio network in the Zone of Advance ; and also managed the meteoro- 
logical, pigeon, and general photographic services. Our communi- 
cation system included a cable across the English Channel, the erec- 
tipn of 4,000 kilometers of telephone and telegraph lines on our own 
poles, and the successful operation of a system with 215,500 kilome- 
ters of lines. 


21. The quantity and importance of gasoline-engine transportation 
in-this war necessitated the creation of a new service known as the 
Motor Transport Corps. It was responsible for setting up motor 
vehicles received from America, their distribution, repair, and main- 
tenance. Within the zone of the Services of Supply, the Motor Trans- 
port Corps controlled the use of motor vehicles, and it gave technical 
supervision to their operation in the Zone of the Armies. It was 
responsible for the training and instruction of chauffeurs and other 
technical personnel. Due to the shortage of shipments from America, 
a large number of trucks, automobiles, and spare parts had to be 
purchased in France. 


22. A Eenting, Requisition, and Claims Service was organized in 
March, 1918, to procure billeting areas, supervise the quartering of 


troops with an organization of zone and town majors^ and to have 
charge of the renting, leasing, and requisitioning of all lands and 
buildings required by the American Expeditionary Forces. Under 
the provisions of an act of Congress, approved in April, 1918, the 
Claims Department was charged with the investigation^ assessment, 
and settlement of all claims ^' of inhabitants of France or any other 
European country not an enemy or ally of an enemy " for injuries to 
persons or damages to property occasioned by our forces. The pro- 
cedure followed was in accordance with the law and practice of the 
country in question. The efficient administration of this service had 
an excellent effect upon the people of the European countries con- 

23. The various activities of the Services of Supply which, at its 
heighth on November 11, 1918, reached a numerical strength in per- 
sonnel of 668,312, including 23,772 civilian employees, can best be 
summed up by quoting the telegram sent by me to Maj. Gen. James 
G. Harbord, the Commanding General, Services of Supply^ upon my 
relinquishing personal command of the First Army: 

'* I want the S. O. & to know how much the First Army apfH-eeiated the 

prompt response made to every demand for men, equipment, suppUes, and 
transportation necessary to carry out the recent operations. Hearty congratu- 
lations. The S. O. S. shares the success with it." 



24. Our entry into the war found us with few of the auxiliaries 
necessary for its conduct in the modern sense. The task of tifw 
Ordnance Department in supplying artillery was especially difficult. 
In order to meet our requirements as rapidly as possible, we accepted 
the oflFer of the French GrOTernment to supply us with the artil- 
lery equipment of 76's, 155 mm. howitzers and 155 G. P. F. guns 
from their own factories for 30 divisions. The wisdom of this 
course was fully demonstrated by the fact that, although we soon 
began the manufacture of these classes of guns at home, there were 
no guns of American manufacture of the calibres mentioned on our 
front at the date of the armistice. The only guns of these types pro- 
duced at home which reached France before the cessation of hostili- 
ties were one hundred and nine 75 mm. guns. In addition, twenty- four 
8-inch howitzers from the United States reached our front and were 
in use when the Armistice was signed. Eight 14-inch naval guns of 
American mannf aciore were set up on railroad mounts, and most 
of these were successfully employed on the Meuse-Argonne front 
under the efficient direction of Admiral Plunkett of the Navy. 



25. In aviation we were entirely dependent upon our Allies, and 
here again the French Government came to our aid until our own 
program could be set under way. From time to time we obtained 
from the French such planes for training personnel as they could 
provide. Without going into a complete discussion of aviation ma- 
teriel, it will be sufficient to state that it was with great difficulty that 
we obtained equipment even for training. As for up-to-date combat 
planes, the development at home was slow, and we had to rely upon 
the French who provided us with a total of 2,676 pursuit, observa- 
tion, and bombing machines. The JBrst aeroplanes received from 
home arrived in May, and altogether we received 1,379 planes of 
the De Haviland type. The first American squadron completely 
equipped by American production, including aeroplanes, crossed the 
German lines on August 7, 1918. As to our aviators, many of whom 
trained with our Allies, it can be said that they had no superiors 
in daring and in fighting ability. During the battles of St. Mihiel 
and Meuse-Argonne our aviators excelled all others. They have 
left a record of courageous deeds that will ever remain a brilliant 
page in the annals of our Army. 


26. In the matter of tanks, we were compelled to rely upon both 
the French and the English. Here, however, we were less fortunate 
for the reason that our Allies barely had sufficient tanks to meet 
thjeir own requirements. While our Tank Corps had limited oppor- 
tunity, its fine personnel responded gallantly on every possible occa- 
sion and showed courage of the highest order. We had one battalion 
of heavy tanks engaged on the English front. On our own front 
we had only the light tanks, and the number available to participate 
in the last great assault of November 1 was reduced to 16 as a result 
of the previous hard fighting in the Meuse-Argonne. 


27. The Chemical Warfare Service represented another entirely 
new departure in this war. It included many specialists from 
civil life. With personnel of a high order, it developed rapidly 
into one of our most efficient auxiliary services. While the early 
employment of gas was in the form of clouds launched from special 
projectors, itsuse later on in the war was virtually by means of gas 
shells fired by the light artillery. One of the most important duties 
of the Chemical Warfare Service was to insure the equipment 
of our troops with a safe and comfortable mask, and the instruc- 
tion of the personnel in the use of this protector. Whether or 


not gas will be employed in future wars is a matter of conjecture, 
but the effect is so deadly to the unprepared that we can never af- 
ford to neglect the question. 



28. The general health of our armies under conditions strange 
and adverse in many ways to our American experience and mdde of 
life was marvelously good. The proportionate number of men in- 
capacitated from other causes than battle casualties and injuries 
was low. Of all deaths in the American Expeditionary Forces (to 
September 1, 1919) totaling 81,141, there were killed in action, 
85,556 ; died of wounds received in battle, 15^30 ; other wounds and 
injuries, 5,669; and died of disease, 24,786. Therefore, but little 
over two-sevenths the total loss of life in the American Expedition- 
ary Forces was caused by disease. 

Our armies suffered from the communicable diseases that usually 
affect troops. Only two diseases have caused temporarily excessive 
sick rates, epidemic diarrhea and influenza, and of these influenza 
only, due to the fatal complicating pneumonia, caused a serious rise 
in the death rate. Both prevailed in the armies of our Allies and 
enemies and in the civilian population of Europe. 

Venereal disease has been with us always, but the control was suc- 
cessful to a degree never before attained in our armies, or in any 
other army. It has been truly remarkable when the environment 
in which our men lived is appreciated. The incidence of venereal 
disease varied between 30 and 60 per thousand per annum, averaging 
under 40. Up to September, 1919, all troops sent home were 6:ee 
from venereal disease. The low percentage was due largely to' the 
fine character of men composing our armies. 

29. Hospitalization represented one of the largest and most diffi- 
cult of the medical problems in the American Expeditionary Forces. 
That the needs were always met and that there was always a surplus 
of several thousand beds, were the results of great effort and the 
use of all possible expedients to make the utmost of resources avail- 
able. The maximum number of patients in hospital on any one 
day was 193,026, on November 12, 1918. 

Evacuation of the sick and wounded was another difficult problem, 
especially during the battle periods. The total number of men evac- 
uated in the Zone of the Armies was 214,467, of whom 11,281 were 
sent in hospital trains to base ports. The number of sick and 
wounded sent to the United States up to November 11, 1918, was 
14,000. Since the Armistice, 103,028 patients have been sent to the 
United States. 


30. The Army and the Medical Department were fortmiate in 
obtaining the services of leading physicians, surgeons, and specialists 
in all branches of medicine from all parts of the United States, who 
brought the most skillful talent of the world to the relief of our 
sick and wounded. The Army Nurse Corps deserves more than pass- 
ing conmient. These women, working tirelessly and devotedly, 
shared the burden of the day to the fullest extent with the men, 
many of them submitting to all the dangers of the battle front. 


31. New problems confronted the Adjutant General's Department 
in France. Our great distance from home necessitated records, 
data, and executive machinery to represent the War Department 
as well as our forces in France. Unusually close attention was paid 
to individual records. Never before have accuracy and completeness 
of reports been so strictly insisted upon. Expedients had to be 
adopted whereby the above requirements could be met without 
increasing the record and correspondence work of combat units. 
The organization had to be elastic to meet the demands of any force 
maintained in Europe. 

A Statistical Division was organized to collect data regarding the 
special qualifications of all officers and to keep an up-to-date record 
of the location, duties, health, and status of every officer and soldier, 
nurse, field clerk, and civilian employee, as well as the location and 
strength of organizations. The Central Records Office at Bourges re- 
ceived reports from the battle front, evacuation and base hospitals, 
convalescent-leave areas, reclassification camps, and base ports, and 
prepared for transmission to the War Department reports of indi- 
vidual casualties. Each of the 299,599 casualties was considered as 
an individual case. A thorough investigation of the men classed as 
" missing in action " reduced the number from 14,000 at the signing 
of the Armistice to 22 on August 31, 1919. 

32. In addition to printing and distributing all orders from (jen- 
eral Headquarters, the Adjutant General's Department had charge of 
the delivery and collection of official mail and finally of all mail. 
The Motor Dispatch Service operated 20 courier routes, over 2,300 
miles of road, for the quick dispatch and delivery of official com- 
munications. After July 1, 1918, the Military Postal Express Serv- 
ice was organized to handle all mail, official and personal, and op- 
erated 169 fixed and mobile post offices and a railway post-office 

While every effort was exerted to maintain a satisfactory mail 
sei'vice, frequent transfers of individuals, especially during the hur- 
ried skeletonizing of certain combat divisions, numerous errors in 


addresses, hasty handling, and readdi^ssing of mail by regimental 
and company <derks in the Skme of Operations, and other conditions 
incident to the continuous movement of troops in battle, made the 
distribution of mail an exceedingly difficult problem. 


33. The Inspector General's Department, acting as an independent 
agency not responsible for the matters under its observation, made 
inspections and special investigations for the purpose of keeping com- 
manders informed of local conditions. The inspectors worked un- 
ceasingly to determine the manner in which orders were being car- 
ried out, in an effort to perfect discipline and team play. 

The earnest belief of every member of the Expeditionary Forces 
in the justice of our cause was productive of a form of self-imposed 
discipline among our soldiers which must be regarded as an unusual 
development of this war, a fact which materially aided us to or- 
ganize and employ in an incredibly short space of time the extraor- 
dinary fighting machine developed in France. 

Our troops generally were strongly imbued with an offensive spirit 
essential to success. The veteran divisions had acquired not only this 
spirit, but the other elements of fine discipline. In highly trained 
divisions, commanders of all grades operate according to a definite 
system calculated to concentrate their efforts where the enemy is 
weakest. Straggling is practically eliminated ; the Infantry, skillful 
in fire action and the employment of cover, gains with a minimum of 
casualties; the battalion, with all of its accompanying weapons, 
works smoothly as a team in which the parts automatically assist 
each other; the Artillery gives the Infantry close and continuous 
support ; and unforeseen situations are met by prompt and energetic 

This war has only confirmed the lessons of the past. The less 
experienced divisions, while aggressive, were lacking in the ready 
skill of habit. They were capable of powerful blows, but their blows 
were apt to be awkward — ^teamwork was often not well understood. 
Flexible and resourceful divisions can not be created by a few maneu- 
vers or by a few months' association of their elements. On the other 
hand, without the keen intelligence, the endurance, the willingness, 
and enthusiasm displayed in the training area, as well as on the battle 
field, the successful results we obtained so quickly would have be^n 
utterly impossible. 


34. The commanders of armies, corps, divisions, separate brigades, 
and certain territorial districts, were empowered to appoint general 
courts-martial. Each of these commanders had on his staff an officer 


of the Judge Advocate General's Dej)artment, whose duty it was to 
render legal advice and to assist in the prompt trial and just punish- 
ment of those guilty of serious infractions of discipline. 

Prior to the signing of the Armistice, serious breaches of discipline 
were rare, considering the number of troops. This was due to the 
high sense of duty of the soldiers and their appreciation of the seri- 
ousness of the situation. In the period of relaxation following the 
cessation of hostilities, infractions of discipline were naturally more 
numerous, but not even then was the number of trials as great in 
proportion to the strength of the force as is usual in our service. 

35. It was early realized that many of the peace-time methods of 
punishment were not the best for existing conditions. In the early 
part of 1918, it was decided that the award of dishonorable dis- 
charge of soldiers convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude, 
would not be contemplated, except in the most serious cases. To 
remove these soldiers temporarily from their organizations, division 
commanders were authorized to form provisional temporary de- 
tachments to which such soldiers could be attached. These detach- 
ments were retained with their battalions so that offenders would 
not escape the dangers and hardships to which their comrades were 
subjected. Wherever their battalion was engaged, whether in front- 
line trenches or in back areas, these men were required to perform 
hard labor. Only in emergency were they permitted to engage in 
combat. Soldiers in these disciplinary battalions were made to un- 
derstand that if they acquitted themselves well, they would be 
restored to full duty with their organizations. 

AH officers exercising disciplinary powers were imbued with the 
purpose of these instructions and carried them into effect. So that 
nearly all men convicted of military offenses in combat divisions 
remained with their organizations and continued to perform their 
duty as soldiers. Many redeemed themselves by rendering valiant 
service in action and were released from the further operation of 
their sentences. 

36. To have the necessary deterrent effect upon the whole unit, 
courts-martial for serious offenses usually imposed sentences con- 
siderably heavier than would have been awarded in peace times. 
Except where the offender earned remission at the front, these sen- 
tences stood during hostilities. At the signing of the Armistice, 
steps were at once taken to reduce outstanding sentences to the 
standards of peace time. 


37. On July 20, 1917, a Provost Marshal General was appointed 
with station in Paris, and later the department was organized as 
an administrative service with the Provost Marshal General func- 


tioning under the First Section, General StaflF. The Department was 
developed into four main sections — ^the Military Police Corps which 
served with divisions, corps, and armies and in the sections of the 
Services of Supply; the Prisoner of War Escort Companies; the 
Criminal Investigation Department; and the Circulation Depart- 
ment. It was not until 1918 that the last-mentioned department 
became well trained and efficient. On October 15, 1918, the strength 
of the Corps was increased to 1 per cent of the strength of the 
American Expeditionary Forces, and provost marshals for armies, 
corps, and divisions were provided. 

The military police of the American Expeditionary Forces de- 
veloped into one of the most striking bodies of men in Europe. 
Wherever the American soldier went, there our military police were 
on duty. They controlled traffic in the battle zone, in all villages 
occupied by American troops, and in many cities through which our 
traffic flowed; they maintained order, so far as the American sol- 
diers were concerned, throughout France and in portions of Eng- 
land, Italy, Belgium, and occupied Germany. Their smart appear- 
ance and military bearing and the intelligent manner in which they 
discharged their duties left an excellent impression of the typical 
American on all with whom they came in contact. 

160184**— H. Doc. 626, 66-2 6 



Prisoners of War. 

Civil Administration of OccupiBa) Territory. 

Execution of Armistice Terms. 

United States Liquidation Commission. 

Relations with the Allies. 

Welfare Work: 

Allied Food Commission. 


Leaves and Leave Areas. 

Religious Work. 

Educational Work. 

Stars and Strifes. 




1. All prisoners taken by the American troops were kept at least 
30 kilometers behind our lines under guard by the. Provost Marshal 
General's Department, except wounded or sick prisoners who were 
immediately sent to hospitals for treatment. Arrangements were 
made with the French and British that prisoners taken by our units 
operating with them should be sent to American enclosures. The 
Provost Marshal General was instructed to follow the principles of 
The Hague and the Geneva conventions in the treatment of prisoners, 
although these were not recognized by the United States as binding 
in the present war. Prisoners were organized into labor companies, 
and were employed on work which had no distinct bearing on mili- 
tary operations. The officer prisoners of war were accorded the same 
treatment as received by American officers confined in Germany. A 
Prisoner of War Information Bureau was established in the Central 
Records Office. Under a mutual understanding with the German 
Government, payments were made to prisoners in the form of credits, 
and, subject to censorship, they were allowed to send and receive let- 
ters and packages. Religious meetings were held by prisoner chap- 
lains, assisted by our Army chaplains and welfare workers. 

2. From June, 1918, to the end of March, 1919, a total of 48,280 
enemy prisoners were handled by the Provost Marshal General's De- 
partment, of whom 93 died and 73 escaped and were not recaptured. 
At the request of the French Government, 516 prisoners, natives of 
Alsace-Lorraine, were released after examination by a French com- 
mission. In accordance with the provisions of the Geneva conven- 
tion, 59 medical officers and 1,783 men of the sanitary personnel, 
including 333 members of the German Eed Cross, were repatriated. 
On April 9, 1919, we conunenced to repatriate enemy prisoners who 
were permanently unfit for further military duty and those who 
could not perform useful labor. 

3. Through the Berlin Red Cross and the International Eed Cross 
at Geneva, an American Red Cross committee at Berne received lists 
of all American prisoners taken by the German troops, to each of 
whom, when located, was sent a package containing food, tobacco, 



clean underclothing and toilet articles, and thereafter two packages 
a week. By a system of return post cards, it was determined that 
85 per cent of these packages were received. 

As soon as the Armistice was signed the Germans released large 
numbers of Allied prisoners who immediately started toward the 
Allied lines. Four American regional replacement departments were 
established, to which all returning Americans were sent until proper 
records could be made. Those in good physical condition were 
sent to their commands, while the others were sent to hospitals or to 
leave areas for a rest. 

An Allied commission was formed in Berlin early in December, 

1918, for the repatriation of Allied prisoners, with representatives 
from each of the American, British, French, and Italian Armies. 
American prisoners were evacuated through Switzerland in fully 
equipped trains, including hospital cars, provided by the Swiss Gov- 
ernment and paid for by our Government. These were met by Amer- 
ican trains at the Swiss border. It was planned to withdraw all our 
prisoners by this route, but a number had already been withdrawn 
through the northern ports and taken to England in British ships. 

The Allied Commission obtained a statement of moneys paid Amer- 
icans while in German prisons; investigated complaints concerning 
treatment of Americans; obtained possession of effects of prisoners 
who had died in captivity, or which had been left behind by those 
repatriated ; and also located the graves of the American dead. 

4. On November 11, 1918, there were 248 American officers and 
3,302 men in the hands of the Germans, all of whom were evacuated 
by February 5, 1919. None of our prisoners were condemned to death, 
although 1 officer and 20 men died in captivity. 

5. An Inter- Allied agreement on January 13, 1919, created a com- 
mission for the control of Eussian prisoners in Germany. The British 
and American representatives, aided by small unarmed detachments, 
were charged with the administration of the Russian prison cajpijps, 
and succeeded in discharging their duties despite tlie civil disorders 
in Germany. 

Early in January, 1919, the Eed Cross outlined a plan to send a 
commission to Germany to assist in caring for and feeding Russian 
prisoners, and an American officer was detailed to assist and accom- 
pany this commission. The Red Cross being financially unable to 
furnish the necessary food, arrangements were finally made with 
the French Government to furnish funds for its purchase from our 
Army stores, without any responsibility being assumed by the Army, 
as was desired by the Allied Food Commission. Such supplies as 
could be spared by the Anny were sold to the French, and American 
officers were detailed to assist in their distribution. On April 10, 

1919, the Supreme Allied War Council decided to give the German 


Government complete freedom in repatriating Russian prisoners of 
war, stipulating only that none should be repatriated by force, and 
that all who left must be provided with sufficient food for the journey. 


6. To insure law and order, it was necessary that an American 
civil administration be created in the occupied territory. Different 
policies were adopted toward Luxemburg and occupied Germany, 
the former being a disarmed neutral and the latter occupied enemy 
territory. In both regions we issued proclamations defining our 
attitude toward the inhabitants. 

In accordance with the precedent of our Government under similar 
circumstances, the local civil government remained in full possession 
of its former power, and retained jurisdiction over all civil matters. 
The organization of our civil administration in occupied territory 
provided for the control of civil affairs by the Officer in Charge of 
Civil Affairs in Occupied Territory, under whom Army, corps, and 
division commanders detailed suitable officers in local charge of civil 
matters. In the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg,, civil affairs were 
regulated by a corresponding representative with an office in the 
city of Luxemburg. 

7. The principle of requisitioning supplies was exercised exten- 
sively throughout the area, always under central control and with- 
out abuse of the privilege. Under a board of appraisal payment was 
made for all property requisitioned, the money being obtained from 
the German Government under the terms of the Armistice. Food 
and forage were not requisitioned, and during most of the period of 
occupation our officers and men were not allowed to purchase any 
German food and were forbidden to eat in the restaurants and cafes. 

In Luxemburg, billeting arrangements and payment therefor 
were provided for by an agreement with the Government of Luxem- 

Under instructions from the State Department, the interests of 
American citizens found in occupied Germany were referred to the 
American Embassy in Paris : in Luxemburg to the American Lega- 
tion at The Hague. 

8. We insisted upon the Germans maintaining all public utilities. 
After being inspected, measures were taken to assure priority of fuel 
supply in case of coal shortage due to strikes in the Euhr and Saar 
districts or other causes. One of our chief problems was the main- 
tenance and repair of roads and highways, and this at first neces- 
sitated the employment of soldier labor. As soon as possible a satis- 
factory system of road preservation and improvement was inau- 
gurated, utilizing German civil labor. 


To control and supervise the movement of funds and securities, 
all banks and banking houses were required to submit monthly re- 
ports. Trade and blockade regulations were controlled through the 
American Section of the Inter- Allied Economic Committee. 

9. The Civil Administration issued instructions relative to courts. 
Army, corps, and divisional commanders were authorized to convene 
military commissions and appoint superior provost courts for their 
respective districts; and commanding officers of each city, town or 
canton, appointed an inferior provost court. All of these courta 
were for the trial of offenses against the laws of war or the Military 
Government. Our legal machinery was simple, and successful results 
in maintaining law and order were due to uniform and strict en- 
forcement of such few regulations as proved necessary. 

Strict censorship was maintained over postal, telephone and tele- 
graphic communications. Passes and circulation were first handled 
by the Department of Civil Affairs, but on January 24, 1919, the 
Third Army took charge of those matters. 

In connection with the reconstruction work in France and Bel- 
gium, the Department of Civil Affairs prepared a record of all recov- 
ered stolen property and measures were taken to protect it against 
deterioration or imauthorized removal. 

10. The fraternization problem was sharply raised by the sudden 
transition from the rigors of war conditions in France to the com- 
forts of undisturbed German cities and homes, but a realization by 
our troops of their position in enemy territory and of their duty 
to maintain the dignity of their own country reduced infractions 
of rules on the subject to a minimum. 


11. The first Armistice agreement provided for supervision by a 
Permanent International Armistice Commission to function under 
the authority of the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Arnries. 
The United States, Great Britain, Belgium, France, Italy and Ger- 
many were represented on the Permanent International Armistice 
Commission. The chairmen of this commission and of the five main 
committees were French. These committees were organized to care 
specifically for the work in connection with material, transportation, 
prisoners of war, entretien, and restitution. The United States was 
represented on each of these main committees. 

12. The Germans unsuccessfully attempted to enter the Permanent 
International Armistice Commission on the basis of negotiation. 
Many adjustments were made because of the difficulties under which 
the German authorities were working, but, in general, they were 
held strictly to the spirit of the terms of the Armistice agreement. 



Time of delivery was often extended, but penalties were imposed 
for failure to comply with the conditions. All aeroplanes were not 
obtained until a penalty was imposed of 20 horses for each unde- 
livered plane. Evacuation of occupied territory, and repatriation 
of civilian inhabitants and of prisoners of war, were begun imme- 
diately and carried out promptly. 

13. In the distribution among the Allied Armies of ordnance and 
aeroplanes surrendered by the enemy, the Belgian Army received 
one-tenth, American Army two-tenths, British Army three-tenths, 
and French Army four-tenths. Our share was 720 field guns, 531: 
heavy guns, 589 trench mortars, 10,356 machine guns and 340 aero- 
planes. Eailway rolling stock was divided according to the needs 
of the railway systems serving the different armies. 

14. The question of expense of maintenance of the armies of oc- 
cupation caused considerable discussion among the Allies and pro- 
tests from the Germans. This was due to the diversity of opinion 
as to the items properly chargeable to the expense of an army, of 
occupation. My policy was that, pending final settlement by the 
Peace Conference, Germany would be liable for all expenses of the 
American Army of Occupation; that any payments made by Ger- 
many for this purpose were to be considered as partial payments 
on account of the whole sum, and not as a liquidation of any specific 
expenses. Money was deposited in Coblenz banks to the credit of 
the United States, in amounts notified as necessary, to cover all 
expenditures made in the occupied area. The total expense as cal- 
culated by the different Allied Armies, before any of our troops 
were withdrawn, was based on the effective strength as shown by 
their Tables of Organization, and appears as follows : 




U'nited States. 

Total- . . 













116, 100 

Cost per month 
in francs. 

175, 948, 815. CO 






15. In February, 1919, upon my recommendation, the Secretary 
of War appointed the United States Liquidation Commission, War 
Department, which had charge of the liquidation of our affairs in 
France, the sale of our property and installations and the settle- 
ment of claims exclusive of those arising out of torts, which were 
handled by the Renting, Requisition and Claims Service. Wliile not 
under my supervision, the Liquidation Commission played such an 
important part in the closing chapter of our activities that some 


mention of it should be made in this report. With the dissolution of 
the American Expeditionary Forces we were confronted with the 
problem of disposing of large port and other installations and 
immense quantities of transportation, materiel, supplies and equip- 
ment. Much of this was of an immovable nature and the shipping 
situation forbade the transfer to the United States of most of the 
movable effects. There was little or no demand for many of the 
articles to be disposed of, and the expense of maintaining a force 
of caretakers until the market improved would have been prohibi- 
tive. The successful negotiations of the- Commission led to the 
liquidation of our affairs with France by the payment of a lump sum 
to the United States by the French Government. 


16, Our troops arrived in Europe after France and Great Britain 
had been fighting desperately for nearly three years, and their re- 
ception was remarkable in its cordiality. The resources of our Allies 
in men and material had been taxed to the limit, but they always 
stood ready to furnish us with needed supplies, equipment and 
transportation when at all available. We were given valuable assist- 
ance and cooperation in our training program by both the French 
and British armies, and when the shortage of labor personnel in our 
forces became acute the French Government rendered material as- 
sistance in the solution of this problem. 

It was our good fortune to have a year in France to organize and 
train our forces. When our troops entered the battle the veteran 
soldiers of France and England gave them moral and physical sup- 
port. The Artillery of our Allies often supported the advance of 
American troops; British and French tanks frequently cooperated 
with our Infantry ; and their aviators fought in the air to assist the 
American soldier. 

Throughout France our troops have been intimately associated with 
the French people, particularly the French peasant, and the relk- 
tions growing out of these associations assure a permanent friend- 
ship between the two peoples. The small force of Americans serving 
in Italy was accorded a warm welcome and established with the 
Italian people the most friendly relations. The hospitable reception 
of those of our forces who passed through England has impressed 
upon us how closely common language and blood have brought to- 
gether the British and ourselves. 

The cooperation of our soldiers with the French, British, Bel- 
gians and Italians was decisive in bringing the war to a successful 
conclusion, and will have an equally decisive effect in welding to- 
gether the bonds of sympathy and good will among the peoples of 
these nations and ourselves. 




17. At the request of the Allied Food Commission a selected per- 
sonnel of 820 officers and 464 men was placed at the disposal of the 
Commission. There was no other American personnel in Europe or 
elsewhere available for this necessary work. Our officers were sent 
to various countries in charge of food distribution, and were every- 
where received with the utmost friendliness. These officers and 
men, by their executive and administrative ability and their energetic 
resourcefulness, Were in a large measure responsible for the manner 
in which these food supplies were delivered to the various peoples in 
central Europe during a period of civil unrest or complete disorder. 
By their disinterested conduct of this charitable work, they won for 
the American Army the admiration of the populations whom they 


18. In their respective spheres of activity the Eed Cross and Y. M. 
C. A. undertook the burden of supplying the needs of the entire 
American Expeditionary Forces. Their efforts were in many re- 
spects limited by a lack of tonnage. But shortage in tonnage, trans- 
portation, or personnel, meant inability to carry out completely their 
appointed tasks; whereas with the smaller societies it meant inability 
to expand. In order to avoid duplication of effort, it was directed in 
August, 1917, that the Eed Cross confine its activities to relief work, 
and the Y. M. C. A. to amusement and recreation. The Knights of 
Columbus and the Salvation Army were later given official recogni- 
tion. The Y. W. C. A., Jewish Welfare Board and American Li- 
brary Association conducted their activities through one of the estab- 
lished societies. 

• 19. The American Red Cross maintained within our zones a svs- 
tem of " Line of Communication Canteens," which furnished refresh- 
ments and relief to troops in transit and became a valuable feature of 
the Eed Cross work. The statistical work of the searchers attached 
to statistical sections and to hospitals obtained much information 
for relatives. This society also aided in locating American prisoners 
to whom it sent food from Switzerland. 

20. To avoid depleting our personnel, the Y. M. C. A. agreed to 
operate our canteens and was at first allotted 208 ship-tons per 
25,000 men per month to bring supplies from the United States, but 
the requirements of other services later made it necessary to reduce 
this allotment to 100 tons. This materially reduced the valuable 
service the Y. M. C. A. might have rendered in this work. The ter- 


mination of hostilities made it possible to relieve the society of this 

21. The need of greatly expanded welfare work after hostilities, 
such as athletics and education was at once recognized, and the co- 
operation of the welfare societies in all these activities was of ines- 
timable value. Immediatfely after the Armistice steps were taken to 
provide diversion and entertainment for our troops. Entertainment 
officers were appointed in all units, and the Y. M. C. A. Entertain- 
ment Department furnished professionals and acted as a training and 
booking agency for soldier talent. Approximately 650 "soldier 
shows '' were developed, which entertained hundreds of thousands of 
soldiers, who will remember this as one of the pleasant and unique 
enterprises of the American Expeditionary Forces. 

The athletic program in the spring of 1919 culminated in the Inter- 
Allied games in June, held in the concrete stadium erected by our 
Engineers near Paris, the necessary funds being contributed by the 
Y. M. C. A. In number of participants and quality of entry, these 
games probably surpassed any of the past Olympic contests. 


22. A leave system announced in general orders provided for a 
leave of seven days every four months, but it was necessary to sus- 
pend the privilege during active operations. In the leave areas free 
board and lodging at first-class hotels were provided for soldiers, 
and the Y. M. C. A. furnished recreational and amusement facilities. 
A number of new areas were opened by the Services of Supply 
immediately after the Armistice, improved transportation accommo- 
dations were eventually secured, and arrangements were made 
whereby men could visit England, Belgium and Italy. 

It was my desire that every man in the American Expeditionary 
Forces should be given an opportunity to visit Paris before returning 
to the United States, but the crowded condition of the city during 
the Peace Conference, transportation difficulties, and other reasons, 
made it necessary to limit the number of such leaves. 


23. Religious work in our Army before the war was carried on by 
chaplains, one to each regiment. To meet the greatly increased size 
of regiments, legislation was recommended by me to provide not less 
than one chaplain for each 1,200 men. Although such act was passed 
in June, 1918, there was a continuous shortage of chaplains with the 
fighting units and in the hospitals and camps in the rear areas. 
This was largely met through the ready cooperation of the Welfare 
Societies who sent ministers and priests where most needed. Reli- 


gious workers in the Y. M. C. A. and Ejiights of Columbus and Red 
Cross also aided in the work, the Bed Cross sending chaplains to the 
States with units in many instances. 

The religious work was directed and coordinated by a Board of 
Chaplains at general headquarters, of which Bishop Charles H. Brent 
was the head. With great devotion to duty this work was main- 
tained despite a lack of transportation and other facilities. Chap- 
lains, as never before, became the moral and spiritual leaders of their 
organizations, and established a high standard of active usefulness in 
religious work that made for patriotism, discipline and unselfish 
devotion to duty. 


24. Prior to the Armistice, educational work was conducted through 
the organization of voluntary classes under the Y. M. C. A., the 
popular subjects studied being French language, French history, and 
the causes of the war. After the Armistice, measures were taken for 
a systematic organization of non-military educational training. 

The formal school work began January 2nd, with post schools. 
Then divisional educational centers gave the equivalent of high- 
school instruction and specialized on vocational training. The 
American Expeditionary Forces University at Beaune carried on 
undergraduate and graduate work for the technical professions, while 
postgraduate work was provided by the entrance of our officers and 
soldiers into French and British universities. Special schools were 
organized to meet demands, such as the Practical Agricultural School 
at AUery and the Art Training Center at Paris, for painting, sculp- 
ture, architecture and interior decoration, advanced students being 
entered in the best ateliers of Paris. Active instruction was carried 
on in the base hospitals and convalescent camps. 

An important branch of the educational work was the field insti- 
tute of short courses and educational extension lectures, organized 
to meet conditions due to the rapid repatriation of our soldiers and 
the constant movement of troops. At least half of our forces were 
reached by this means with brief intensive courses in business, trades, 
engineering, agriculture, occupational guidance, and in citizenship. 

25. On AprU 15 all educational work came under the complete 
control of the Training Section of the General Staff. The advantage 
of this change in management was at once apparent in the better 
coordination of the work of an excellent body of educators. The 
total attendance in the organized school system of the American 
Expeditionary Forces was 230,020, of which number 181,475 at- 
tended post schools, 27,250 educational centers, 8,528 the American 
Expeditionary Forces University at Beaune, 367 Art Training Cen- 
ters, 4,144 Mechanical Trade Schools, 6,300 French universities and 


1,956 British universities. The attendance upon the institute short 
courses totaled 690,000 more, and at the extension lectures 750,000, 
giving a grand total of attendance at all educational formations of 

The educational work in the American Expeditionary Forces was 
of undoubted value, not only in improving morale, but in concrete 
benefit to the individual officer and soldier. It demonstrated satis- 
factorily that a combined military and educational program can be 
carried out in the Army with little detriment to pure military train- 
ing and with decided advantage to the individual. 


26. The Stars and Stripes was a weekly newspaper conceived 
with the idea of increasing the morale of American troops by pro- 
viding a common means of voicing the thought of the entire Amer- 
ican Expeditionary Forces. Edited and managed by enlisted men 
who declined promotion, preferring to remain in the ranks in order 
better to interpret the spirit of the Army, it was a great unifying 
force and materially aided in the development of an esprit de corps. 
It lent loyal and enthusiastic support to Army athletics and to the 
educational program. In leading the men of our Army to laugh at 
their hardships, it was a distinct force for good and helped to create 
a healthy viewpoint. The campaign it conducted for the benefit 
of French orphans resulted in a fund of 2,260,000 francs. 


27. In this brief summary of the achievements of the American 
Expeditionary Forces it would be impossible to cite in detail the 
splendid ability, loyalty and efficiency that characterized the serv- 
ice of both combatant and non-combatant individuals and organiza- 
tions. The most striking quality of both officers and men was t|^e 
resourceful energy and common sense employed, under all circum- 
stances, in handling their problems. 

The highest praise is due the commanders of armies, corps and 
divisions, and their subordinate leaders, who labored loyally and 
ably toward the accomplishment of our task, suppressing personal 
opinions and ambitions in the pursuit of the common aim; and to 
their staffs, who developed, with battle experience, into splendid 
teams without superiors in any army. 

To my Chiefs of Staff, Maj. Gen. James G. Harbord, who was later 
placed in command of the Services of Supply, and Maj. Gen. James 
W. McAndrew, I am deeply indebted for highly efficient services in 
k post of great responsibility. 


The important work of the staff at General Headquarters in organi- 
zation and administration was characterized by exceptional ability 
and a fine spirit of cooperation. No chief ever had a more loyal 
and efficient body of assistants. 

The officers and men of the Services of Supply fully realized the 
importance of their duties, and the operations of that vast business 
system were conducted in a manner which won for them the praise 
of all. They deserve their full share in the victory. 

The American civilians in Eui'ope, both in official and private life, 
were decidedly patriotic and loyal, and invariably lent encourage- 
ment and helpfulness to the armies abroad. 

The various societies, especially their women, including those of 
the theatrical profession, and our Army nurses, played a most im- 
portant part in brightening the lives of our troops and in giving aid 
and comfort to our sick and wounded. 

The Navy in European waters, under command of Admiral Sims, 
at all times cordially aided the Army. To our sister service we owe 
the safe arrival of our armies and their supplies. It is most gratify- 
ing to record that there has never been such perfect understanding 
between these two branches of the service. 

Our armies were conscious of the support and cooperation of all 
branches oi the Government. Behind them stood the entire Ameri- 
can people, whose ardent patriotism and sympathy inspired our 
troops with a deep sense of obligation, of loyalty, and of devotion 
to the country's cause never equaled in our history. 

Finally, the memory of the unflinching fortitude and heroism of 
the soldiers of the line fills me with greatest admiration. To them 
I again pay the supreme tribute. Their devotion, their valor and 
their sacrifices will live forever in the hearts of their grateful coun- 

In closing this report, Mr. Secretary, I desire to record my deep 
appreciation of the unqualified support accorded me throughout the 
war by the President and yourself. My task was simplified by your 
confidence and wise counsel. I am, Mr. Secretary, 
Very respectfully, 

John J. Pershing, 
Oeneral^ Commander-in-Chiefs 
Americcm Expeditonary Forces. 


Plate 1. — Map of the second battle of the Marne. 
Plate 2. — Map of St. Mihlel offensive. Daily front lines. 
Plate 3. — Map showing successive German defensive systems. 
Plate 4. — Map of Meuse-Argonne offensive. Daily front lines. 
Plate 5. — Map showing sectors held and ground advanced over by American di- 
Plate 6. — Diagram illustrating the flow of supplies in the A. E. F. 
Plate 7. — Diagram showing the absorption of German divisions by American 

Meuse-Argonne offensive. 
Plate 8. — Map showing principal French ports and railroads used by A. E. F. 
Plate 9. — Chart A. Graphic chart showing general organization project of July 

11, 1917. 
Plate 10. — Chart B. Graphic chart showing organization of Services of Supply 

troops, service of the rear project of September 18, 1917. 
Plate 11. — Chart C. Graphic chart showing organization and status of combat 

troops of the A. E. F. Period of armistice. General headquarters 

Plate 12. — Chart D. Graphic chart showing organization and status of combat 

troops of the A. E. F. Period of armistice. Army troops. 
Plate 13. — Chart E. Graphic chart showing organization and status of combat 

troops of the A. E. F. Period of armistice. Corps troops. 
Plate 14.^-Chart F. Graphic chart showing organization and status of Services 

of Supply troops of the A. E. F. Period of armistice. 
Plate 15. — Chart G. Graphic chart showing organization and status of combat 
troops. Period of armistice. Combat and depot divisions and 

Plate 16. — ^Map of France superimposed on that of the United States showing 

relative distances and the extent of railroad systems used by the 

A. E. F. 

Plate 1 






«o nahcy 



477CW rJiOU Data Ava/laalz /at HtcotiDs 

'Sections indicate ground gained Au 
Divisions Their juinping off line 

upon whicti itiey wert relieved are 
V//A dofes Colored lines indicate. 

occupied i>v American Divisions 
American troops bngaded with Allies 
a '^^Cd7/tf<? OS having made gains it 
not tht combined forces mode the 
Id not /tie American troops oJone. 

3fi7T£/rl//^r or/iARZi ./s/e 

OATTL£U/)fC OrJoiYte. /9/0 

»v T^Jk^y^T^MTtitn the figure 
he Z7'^J>jy,s/an was brigaded, indicated 
\u red #. the combined forces hotding 
pe front shown in green from Jutu tOit* 
Jutg 20i\ rrotn Juty 20">to Augt** 
he some Division fvos hotding the 6 
'rant shown in green as a unit On Augf* 
idvonced ondon Aug &** it had reached 
^^9^ iii^.^'^tO'**. This tine If held until 
> the Di vision pvas retie ved. 

House Doc. No. 626; 66th Cong.. 2d Sess.